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Bet-at-home revenue down in Q3 despite sports-heavy period

| By Robin Harrison
Betclic Everest Group subsidiary Bet-at-home said the summer’s packed sporting schedule positively impacted its performance in the third quarter, though revenue for the year to date remains below 2019 levels.

Revenue for the nine months to 30 September came to €93.0m (£84.0m/$110.6m), down 12.9% year-on-year. Based on the first half revenue of €62.3m, this suggested the operator generated €30.7m in the three months to 30 September. 

This came on total stakes of €636.1m for the third quarter alone, and €2.10bn for the nine-month period (a 13.9% decline).

Looking at performance by vertical, Bet-at-home said that it benefitted by a number of major sporting events taking place in the third quarter, in what had traditionally been a quieter period for the business. 

However the sporting cancellations in the first half saw both stakes and revenue for betting fall year-on-year, with customers wagering €303.9m and winning €269.5m, for gross revenue of €34.4m, a 21.1% drop. 

While online gaming was not impacted by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, it reported a drop in revenue as a result of tighter regulatory controls, which forced the operator to withdraw from the Swiss market in 2019. 

This contributed to amounts wagered on casino, live dealer games, and virtual sports falling 12.4% to €1.79bn, which after customer winnings left gross revenue of €58.6m. 

Betting and gaming levies for the period came to €16.1m, and after €3.4m in value added tax (VAT), net revenue for the nine months came to €73.5m, down 16.4%. 

Bet-at-home recorded €1.1m in additional income, while personnel expenses for the period rose to €14.6m. While marketing costs were down 27.1% at €21.4m, and other operating expenses fell to €15.6m, the decline in revenue resulted in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 14.6% to €23.0m. 

After €1.5m in amortisation and depreciation charges, earnings before interest and tax were down 15.6% at €21.6m. While €72,000 in financial outgoings saw pre-tax profit fall to €21.5m, a 64.2% drop in income taxes, to €7.1m, resulted in net profit for the nine months to 30 September increase sharply, to €14.4m. 

Looking ahead, the operator said that while it remains on track to generate between €120m and €132m for the 2020 calendar year, and EBITDA of between €23m and €27m. 

However, this is likely to decline in 2021, it warned, as a result of regulatory conditions imposed for Germany’s online sports betting and casino markets. 

It received a sports betting licence from the Regional Council of Darmstadt last week, and can take advantage of a transition period in which the business can offer heavily restricted forms of slots and poker. 

This will require operators to limit customer spending to €1,000 per month, with limited scope to offer a small number of sportsbook customers higher limits of €10,000 or €30,000. 

Bet-at-home noted that it has removed table games and implemented the €1,000 limit for the casino products by the 15 October deadline, as it aims to secure a licence once the Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsvertrag (GlüNeuRStV) comes into force from July 2021.

“This significantly increased legal certainty for business operations in Germany, however, means that, from the current perspective, the management board for the Bet-at-home.com expects a decline in gross betting and gaming revenue of around €20m in the financial year 2021, compared to the financial year 2020.” 

“From today’s perspective, this results in a decrease in EBITDA of around €13m in the financial year 2021.”

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