Sportingbet Shows Growth; Mulls Expansion Plans
June 16, 2009 (CAP Newswire) – Describing the status of talks with U.S. authorities regarding a legal settlement as “active and ongoing”, Sportingbet CEO Andy McIver said his company was actively engaged in the process of reaching a settlement over its activities in the U.S. prior to the implementation of 2006’s UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act). Positivity about that possible settlement is also extending into the company’s plans for expansion, he said.
“We are very much in talks with the DOJ, they are active and ongoing. However, the U.S. authorities never give a timeframe as we have to go through the process and we continue that process,” McIver told EGRmagazine.com.
The CEO went on to state that his company’s performance has been positive despite Sportingbet’s forced exit from the United States market almost three years ago. This claim is supported by the company’s strong third-quarter and nine-month results, with a net cash position of £31.3 at period end.
With the online sportsbetting sector expected to consolidate in the coming months, McIver added that Sportingbet was in the process of evaluating opportunities for partnerships or mergers. “It all depends on what is available and at what price, we are not actively looking but it is our duty to assess anything that could represent value to shareholders.”
McIver went on to outline the success of sports betting in some recently opened markets. The number of bets placed in Greece increased 57%, for example, giving Sportingbet motivation for looking into possibly obtaining licenses in other recently liberalized markets such as France.
“Detail of the regulation has not been made available but as France currently only represents 4% of our net gaming revenues, we will have to wait on the detail of the legislation once it is finalised,” McIver said.
“Our goal is to hit £29m in operating profits for the year and we have already reached £26m, with the fourth quarter starting well. It has been a fantastic year and these results are the fruition of all the hard work we have undertaken since we had to exit the US in 2006.”