Why Live Casino is finally cutting through on mobile

Why Live Casino is finally cutting through on mobile

Thursday, August 18, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
Mobile growth contributes to supplier’s 50% rise in revenues

The growing importance of mobile live casino to gaming operators was highlighted in the results this week from specialist supplier Evolution which showed that mobile accounted for 40% of total revenues.

The percentage of revenues coming via the mobile channel is up from 24% in the same period last year and up from 34% at the end of the first quarter. Since the third quarter of 2014, the percentage of revenues has more than trebled and at the current rate of acceleration is on course to constitute more than 5o% at around the turn of the year.

The Stockholm-listed company - which celebrated its 10th anniversary during the quarter - attributed the second-quarter surge to the launch of live three-card poker which occurred during the period. The product is now available with over 50 operators. The company added: “Our entire product portfolio is now compatible with smartphones and tablets, which is a basic requirement for being able to provide a complete gaming experience.”

The total revenue figures point to a booming live casino market. Total revenue rose 50% in the second quarter to €27.1m, while first-half revenues were up over 50% to €51.9m. EBITDA rose at a slightly slower pace, up 38% to €10.6m, representing a margin of 39%. This was slightly down on last year; the company said it had launched an “exceptional” number of new live casino environment in the three months to June.

Among its expenses during the quarter the company laid out £12.6m on the acquisition of its studio property in Riga. That acquisition was driven by the expectation of the company needing greater floor space for potential new studios. The property buy was funded by via a combination of cash and debt. The company also has operations in Malta.

Jens von Bahr, chief executive, said the investment in new live environment was “strategically very positive” despite the negative effect on margin. Among the initiatives during the quarter was the launch of additional tables for Unibet, the relaunch of a live environment for Grosvenor and a first-time live table launch for LeoVegas. The company also signed contracts over the period with GVC for its German-facing Casino Club brand and Danish brand Spilnu while since period close it has added Ritz Casino to its roster.

Von Bahr said of the latest deal that it was indicative of how casinos were now viewing the multi-channel opportunity. “This is a true milestone and something towards which we have worked for many years,” he said. “This also confirms the trend of land-based casinos seeking online solutions to strengthen their relationships with their customers.”

Evolution believes the live casino market is set for further growth in the years ahead, helped by further penetration in the mobile channel. The company added in its statement: “Market growth is influenced by several underlying factors, such as increased use of mobile phones, technological advances with, among other things, improved hardware and increased bandwidth, the migration of land-based casinos to online environments and market regulations.”

It said that further dot national regulation was a benefit to the company as gives existing operators further room to promote the product and adds potential new clients for Evolution.

Totally Gaming Says: Intuitively mobile and live gaming are not happy bedfellows, but it appears that the two have been made to work effectively, despite the limitations on screen size and bandwidth. The advance of streaming technology alongside the trend for oversized smartphones has helped bring the two together more effectively than would have been exepcted just a couple of years ago.

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