Sportingbet, the widely acclaimed online sportsbook, online poker room, and online casino site, which was recently in the news for rejecting a takeover bid worth £350 million, has published its financial report for the year till July 31, 2012. The report clearly shows that Sportingbet’s online poker revenue has fallen.
Sportingbet’s online poker revenue crashed to £11.3 million this year from £17.7 million in 2011. The company has pointed the finger of blame at market conditions, which it claims were too challenging and this situation was further “exacerbated by the significantly larger liquidity offered by a market dominant competitor.”
The company has also cited several reasons for the poor performance of its online poker sector. Some of these reasons are the withdrawal of Sportingbet.com Poker from the Turkish online poker market, the introduction of gambling tax, and Centrebet’s acquisition. Besides, Sportingbet’s net gambling revenue has fallen by 9%, from its £204 million mark in 2011 to the £185.7 million mark this year.
This fiscal year, the contribution of online poker to net gaming revenue and amount wagered was £7.6 million, which is much lower than its contribution of £13.3 million last year. Poker comprises 6% of Sportingbet’s gross gambling revenue, while its games and casino sector comprises 18%.
Sportingbet, which is the owner of Paradise Poker, witnessed its net gambling revenue in emerging and European markets plummet from £166.8 million in 2011 to £103.7 million this year. According to the company, this 38% fall “was partly due to new gambling taxes paid during the year of £11.3 million.” It may be recalled that the governments of Greece and Spain, two of the largest markets for Sportingbet, modified their gambling regulation and tax laws recently.
According to a statement from Sportinbet:
There is the medium-term possibility of significantly increasing profitability if the Australian Government regulates to allow betting in:play, online casino, games and poker. The Productivity Commission report in January 2010 recommended regulation of all products and the present Government has initiated a review of the Interactive Gaming Act. The final results of the consultation process and any proposed changes to the draft law have not yet been published.
In spite of the fall in its gambling revenue this year, the company is optimistic. Stating that its future is bright in spite of the bleak financial report, Sportingbet said, “Whilst the economic outlook remains challenging, our robust position gives us confidence for the current financial year.”