GVC Sees Online Betting Surge as Retail Revenue Falls

GVC Holdings has reported a surge in European and online sports betting revenue despite like-for-like retail earnings in the UK falling by 2 percent.

High street betting shop

Retail revenue continues to fall for two of the UK’s top operators, despite online betting activity being at an all-time high. (Image: community-tu.org)

In a trading update published on October 18, the parent company of Ladbrokes Coral reported a 14 percent upturn in business during the third quarter of 2018. Shining a light on the 10 percent year-on-year increase, GVC said that online net gaming revenue was up by 28 percent.

Live Slump Continues

Driven primarily by sports betting, the rise in online revenue has further cemented GVC’s position as one of Europe’s leading betting brands. However, despite improvements in the virtual arena, the operator’s live sales slumped in the UK.

Although the 2018 FIFA World Cup saw British punters wager £2.5 billion, the surge in activity hasn’t translated into more sales across the GVC’s retail shops. Following on from a three percent decline during Q2, the latest market report showed a 2 percent drop in live earnings.

To offset the fall in retail revenue, GVC’s expansion efforts have resulted in European revenue improving by 24 percent in the three months to September 30.

The Group’s performance in the quarter was very pleasing with momentum continuing across the Online and European Retail divisions. As highlighted in our H1 results, we will look to consolidate our position in markets where we are taking market share through the reinvestment of excess returns, and the board is confident in its full year expectations,” said GVC chief executive Kenneth Alexander.

Rank Retail Revenue Tanks

While GVC’s recent financial summary was largely positive, recent weeks have been less kind to the Rank Group. Publishing its Q3 results on the same day as GVC, the owner of the Grosvenor and Mecca saw year-on-year revenue for the period take a 5 percent hit.

Striking the critical blow was the group’s live ventures. Despite online takings improving by 1.7 percent, Grosvenor Casinos across the UK saw spending fall by 7 percent, mainly on account of reduced activity from high rollers.

Additionally, Mecca Bingo halls saw 5 percent less activity during Q3. What both results show is that gaming across the country is changing.

Data from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has shown that remote gaming is now the biggest sector within the industry. As technology develops and playing habits change, this shift is now being felt by operators.

While that may be causing live revenue to decline, the evolution of the industry will result in more online innovations as we head into 2019 and beyond.

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