Bwin.party Hopes For A More Liberal German Gambling Environment

BWIN.PARTY HOPES FOR A MORE LIBERAL GERMAN GAMBLING ENVIRONMENT

10th January, 2013 at 03:01:54
Source: http://www.azonlinecasinos.com

Latest trading update says the company is performing to expectations

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment issued its pre-close trading update Wednesday, expressing the hope that the confusing German gambling law situation can be resolved and a more liberal regime established, and assuring investors that the company is performing to expectations.

Highlights of the update include:

* Trading since 30 September 2012 has been in-line with management's expectations

* Continuing Clean EBITDA margin for the year ended 31 December 2012 expected to be between 19.5% and 20.5 percent

* Successful migration of bwin.com customers to a single technology platform. The remaining French and Italian migrations remain on track to complete in the first half of 2013.

* Italian slots launched on 3 December 2012

* Poker and casino licence awarded in Schleswig-Holstein

* On-track to deliver approximately Euro 65 million of synergies in 2013

* In Belgium, local partner Belcasinos is in the process of securing the requisite operating licences to operate all online products.

Since the end of September 2012 the group's performance has been in-line with expectations, management reports.

Gross win margins in sports betting returned to more normalised levels in November after a strong run of results in October, although this is still well above last year, reflecting a shift towards longer odds and the partial recovery of the 5% turnover tax from German customers.

In poker, while a greater focus on player acquisition via direct channels rather than through affiliates may reduce new poker sign-ups and active player days going forward, it is not expected to materially affect revenue, but will improve the poker ecology within the PartyPoker network. The much-anticipated all new version of PartyPoker will probably launch during the first half of 2013.

On the online casino front, the company successfully launched slots to Italian customers on 3 December, and early performance has been encouraging. The online bingo business remained steady.

In its regulatory update, the company says there is now a question over how the existing regime in Schleswig-Holstein can co-exist with the alternative system proposed by the other 15 LĂ€nder that seeks to allow sports betting only and with significant additional restrictions for the online offer.... restrictions that do not apply to land-based operators.

"Despite the recent detailed opinions and the possible threat of a formal infringement procedure, Schleswig-Holstein may choose to press ahead with the revocation of its existing law and its accession to the framework proposed by the other 15 LĂ€nder," the update speculates.

"Whilst we welcome the move to regulate the online gaming market in Germany, this must be in a consistent and coherent manner in-line with EU law."

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