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Bet-at-Home Q1 revenue halved amid regulatory challenges

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Bet-at-Home’s revenue dropped by more than 50% in Q1 of 2022, following regulatory difficulties in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

Revenue came to €14.0m (£11.9m/$15.0m), which the operator noted was within expectations for the quarter.

However, this total was down 54.1% from Q1 of 2021, due to regulator challenges in many of Bet-at-Home’s core markets.

Bet-at-Home withdrew from Austria last year, in a move that led to 65 layoffs, after determining that continuing to do business in the country “would lead to a steadily increasing risk potential that appears indefensible overall”. 

This followed a legal case in Austria in which a number of players have sought reimbursement for losses made with unlicensed operators. The only licensed operator in the country is Casinos Austria.

Meanwhile in the Netherlands, Bet-at-Home was one of a number of operators that stopped accepting Dutch players before the market opened on 1 October of last year, following a change in enforcement policies. The operator noted that it submitted a licence application at the end of Q1, paving the way for a return.

Meanwhile in Germany, the business has been affected by the terms of a transitional regime where operators must follow the rules imposed by the country’s Fourth State Treaty on Gambling, including a €1 stake limit for slots. The effects of this, it said, were exacerbated by the fact that operators that do not comply have not yet faced regulatory action, but the business said it expects that fact to change soon.

“We expect the relevant authorities to take rigorous action against unlicensed providers in the foreseeable future,” Bet-at-Home’s board said.

The business paid €4.4m in personnel expenses, down from €5.0m the year before because of the layoffs announced last year. Marketing expenses also declined, to €3.5m, as the business intends to focus more of its 2022 marketing spend on the end of the year, during the Fifa World Cup.

Other operating expenses came to €5.1m.

The business reported a loss before interest, profit, depreciation and amortisation of €1.4m, after a €6.9m profit before interest, profit, depreciation and amortisation the year before.

The business reiterated its revenue guidance of between €50m and €60m for the full year, as well as its earnings before interest, profit, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) guidance of between a €2m loss and a €2m profit.

Bet-at-Home is owned by Betclic Everest, which earlier this month announced plans to go public on Euronext Amsterdam through a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger, alongside television production business Banijay. 

Betclic Everest will first join with Banijay to create FL Entertainment, a business with an enterprise value of €7.2bn, most of which would be related to Banijay. This business would then itself merge with Pegasus Entrepreneurial Acquisition Company Europe, which is already listed on Euronext Amsterdam.