World Cup Sparks Unexpected Revenue Surge for GVC

The 2018 World Cup has fuelled a sharp upturn in revenue for GVC Holdings according to the betting operator’s recent financial report.

GVC chief executive Kenneth Alexander.  

GVC chief executive Kenneth Alexander has said the World Cup will help the company meet its annual projections. (Image: GVC/PA)

With British punters wagering £2.5 billion during the latest World Cup, the parent company of Ladbrokes Coral saw online net gaming revenue (NGR) improve by 18 percent. According to its market statement, football bets have contributed to a positive summer for the FTSE 100 company.

“The World Cup tournament as a whole has been a good one for the group, helped by a better than expected gross win margin but also importantly volumes and value of new customer deposits,” read the July 18 statement.

Retail Revenue Fails to Score

However, despite year-on-year improvements online, GVC saw retail revenue fall by 3 percent. Analysing the results, the report notes adverse weather conditions for the decline in high street takings, but industry data would suggest the result is in line with industry trends.

As part of it annual round-up of betting statistics, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) found that online activity increased by 3.7 percent between April 2016 and March 2017. As remote betting figures grew, the total number of betting shops in the UK fell by 3.2 percent.

In light of the current dynamics, online betting, bingo and casino sites now have a 35 percent market share. Although GVC has noted additional factors affecting its high street operations, there is a clear decrease in live betting activity in the UK.

Cultural Shift Contributes to Upswing

One of the most significant stats to emerge from the recent World Cup betting spree is the rise of female punters. A July 16 report by The Times found that more women placed a bet on football than in previous years.

For the UKGC, this finding tallies with its own market research. Reviewing industry trends between 2015 and 2016, the regulator recorded a 3 percent increase in female participation across all betting sectors.

In reviewing the latest financial statement, GVC’s chief executive Kenneth Alexander said that the recent glut of football bets will help the company meet its full year targets. However, despite the positive news, GVC shares dipped 1 percent to 1,096p at the start of trading on July 18.

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