Legal Sports Report

Euro 2016 Drives Record Sports Betting Results For Unibet

Unibet Euro 2016
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The Euro 2016 soccer championships drove record levels of sports betting for Unibet, according to its Q2 2016 financial results.

Unibet is one of the first large online sports betting companies to report post-Euro 2016 results. Its performance suggests that the other European-focused sports betting operators will also be reporting increased revenues as the result of the competition.

  • The financial results are here.
  • The earnings call and slide presentation is here.

Unibet’s Chief Executive Officer, Henrik Tjärnström wrote:

“The quarter was characterised by the Euro 2016 which provided a new all-time high in customer activity and continued strong growth. Margins in the tournament were significantly higher in July than in June. If the margins had been consistent across the tournament, then gross winnings revenue for the second quarter would have been around GBP 3 million higher.”

Gross winnings revenue came in at £126.6 million ($166.2 million) for the quarter, a rise of 57 percent. £19.6 million ($25.7 million) or 15.5 percent of these revenues came from the Euro 2016.

Growth has continued into the third quarter

Half-year revenue for 2016 is now at £249 million ($326.8 million) and Tjärnström said that the record performance had extended into the third quarter:

“In the period from 1 to 24 July 2016, average daily Gross winnings revenue in GBP has more than doubled compared to the same period in 2015. Adjusting for the unusually high margin on the final stages of the Euros, the impact of exchange rate changes and acquisitions, the organic constant currency growth is close to 50 per cent.”

The figures represent an all-time high for Unibet and were record revenues for sports betting and casino. The total number of active customers in the quarter also hit new records, rising from 603,528 to 1,132,840.

In all, 216,515 of the active customers are from the iGame Group and Stan James Online, which Unibet bought in Q3 of 2015.

Mobile sports betting now dominates revenue generation

Unibet is one of the operators that has successfully implemented a mobile strategy, and its revenues from mobile now account for almost two-thirds of its income:

“Gross winnings revenues from the mobile channel more than doubled in GBP (74 per cent organic growth in constant currency) and accounted for 63 per cent of the total Gross winnings revenue in the second quarter.”

The percentage is at the high end of what can be expected by other operators operating in the same market, and is a 109 percent increase on Q2 of 2015.

Sports betting stakes are rising but individually bet amounts are lower

The total value of sports betting stakes increased by 74 percent compared to the same quarter last year. This is proportionally less than the increase in active customers. The implication is that the new customers that Unibet has acquired are betting slightly lower amounts.

The impact on profits of the extra customers was also reduced by lower margins of 6.2 percent after free bets were discounted.

During the investors earnings call, Tjärnström said that “this might look a little on the low side, but for us it’s very normal that margins fluctuate a bit between the different quarters.”

Launch in the Netherlands delayed yet again

Dutch bettors looking to see the return of the major operators to a legal sports betting market will have to wait a little longer, according to Unibet’s analysis of the current regulatory timetable.

New online gambling laws in the Netherlands have been continually delayed, most recently by a series of amendments that included increasing the gambling tax rate from 20 percent to 29 percent.

Unibet had been hoping to launch in the third quarter of 2017, but is now forecasting a go-live date of Q1 2018, “subject to Senate approval” of final legislative texts.

Joss Wood
- Joss Wood, a former editor of Poker Industry Pro, has long focused on regulated online gambling issues and in particular the international market. For LegalSportsReport.com, Joss turns his attention primarily to regulated sports betting markets. With a degree in English from the University of Birmingham as well as a master’s degree in organisational development from the University of Manchester, Joss’s career has taken him from the British Army into the world of business and finance. For seven years he played poker professionally.
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