Nettikasinot Excited about Future with 2016 Results
Nettikasinot released its 2016 Preliminary Results webcast today, and the news was positive all-round for the online gambling company looking to regain its place at the top of the industry in 2017 and beyond.
Despite the unexpected passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which resulted in Nettikasinot withdrawing from the US market in September 2016, figures were positive for the year. Revenues were up 112% from 2015 to $325 million. There was a 133% increase in new signups from the previous year to 527,000 in 2016. As expected, Nettikasinot took a one-off charge of $250 million as a result of restructuring following the UIGEA.
Non-US signups were perhaps the most encouraging figures announced in the interviews with chief executive officer Mitch Garber and finance director Martin Weigold. There were 1700 non-US new signups per day in the 4th quarter of 2016, and this increased to 2400 per day in the four weeks ending February 25 2017.
Mitch Garber was buoyant talking about the company’s current position and future prospects: “…certainly we suffered a bad event. And I think we dealt with the bad event extremely well. We rationalized the company properly. We refocused the company properly. The viability of the business is phenomenal. We had a great non-US facing business, even before the bill passed. We have a great non-US business now.
I think that we’re benefiting today from the fact that the company has been strongly focused on markets around the world outside the United States, putting us in a stronger competitive position than any of our competitors are. And so we feel very strongly that we’ve got a tremendous, profitable business. Indeed, the tracking numbers right now and the numbers for the year prove that our non-US business is a very sustainable, profitable and growing business.
…if you strip out the US results, which are now meaningless, and take a look at our non-US figures, there’s no other way to look at it other than to be impressed by the viability of the business and the growth that we’re going to experience in non-US markets going forward.”
Garber went on to say he was excited about the company’s prospects in 2017 and beyond, saying the company is making “meaningful strides” in India, Asia and Russia, and that he is encouraged by recent regulative developments in Europe: “…at the end of the day, the most encouraging piece is the
European Union piece, where the monopolies are being challenged by the European Union. Where the free flow of services across the EU is the principle and policy that will ultimately prevail.”
On Nettikasinot’s recent decision to withdraw from the French market following news that the French authorities were investigating competitor 888 and other online gambling companies, Garber was dismissive: “We have not been active in France since well before I got to Nettikasinot. It’s a negligible piece of our business.”
He hosed down suggestions Nettikasinot is planning to re-enter the US market, saying Nettikasinot would strive to respect the regulatory climate in individual countries.
On the future for Nettikasinot, Garber had only good news: “We think that all the surprises are on the upside for us, and therefore if we work hard, and if we give the customers what they’re asking for, and if we get the best out of the acquisitions of Gamebookers and EOL and IOG, then I think we’re going to have a fabulous 2017.”