GVC Holdings, a UK-based gaming and sports betting group, is set to enter into a budding regulated market. This expansion move is in a bid to capitalise on recent trends where the group has noted an increase in online betting activity during the pandemic. The increased betting activity has resulted in GVC’s second positive revision in its earnings forecast
In its Q3 trading update, GVC Holdings has announced its expansion in the newly regulated Portuguese online sports betting and gaming market. GVC is to penetrate this market by operating through Bet.pt, which the company has recently acquired.
Though the Portugese online gaming market is relatively young, having been regulated in 2016, the scene has now grown into one of Europe’s fastest-growing markets. GVC forecasted the Portugese online gaming market’s performance in its trading update and is expecting the market to more than double to about £410 / €450 million by 2023.
Bet.pt has caught GVC’s eye in its expansion bid as it is one of the first operators to obtain licenses from the SRIJ. It secured its sports betting license in 2016, just after the Portugese market’s regulation, and its casino license the year after. Its experience in operating in the market has cemented it as one of Portugal’s leading gambling operators specialising in sports betting.
Commenting on its expansion move, GVC Holdings has expressed that Bet.pt is one of the leading online gambling operators in Portugal and has a particular strength in sports- betting. The company further expressed that its entry into the new market is full of growth opportunities and that it will leverage its technology, extensive portfolio of gaming content, marketing and CRM capabilities, as well as growing the sports offering to achieve its growth ambitions. GVC also pointed out that its acquisition of Bet.pt is consistent with its expansion strategy into new regulated and regulating markets.
Aside from this expansion news, GVC had more positives for its Q3 trading update. The company has revised its earnings forecast once more as it forecasts an EBITDA between £770 – £790 million, ahead of the company’s revised EBITDA of £720 million to £740 million. GVC also noted that sports wagers were well ahead of 2019 figures due to the resumption of global sporting events.
In terms of operations revenue, the company has revealed that the group’s net gaming revenue is up 12% while online net gaming revenue is up 26%. It also noted that online gaming volume remains ahead of pre-COVID-19 levels. It also lauded the performance of its Australian wing as its net gaming revenue has increased by 64%.
In regards to its operations, GVC has noted that all of its UK and European stores opened as soon as permitted. The company also noted that retail betting volumes are now within 10% of the levels seen prior lockdown. The company also expressed its caution with recent events as COVID-19 cases across the UK continues to rise and the company fears a new wave of store closures.
As for its US operations, the company has noted that BetMGM, GVC’s and MGM Resort’s joint venture is making great progress and is firmly on the track to be a leading operator in the USA’s gaming and sports betting markets.