Which were the milestones of your company in the first half of 2019?
We closed an agreement with Fleetwood Gaming for the exclusive rights to distribute the Elys sports and virtual betting products at select locations in the state of Montana. We have also signed a multi-year agreement with the Chippewa Cree Tribe in Box Elder, Montana, to deploy the Elys sports betting platform at the Northern Winz Casino. Besides, we have completed the acquisition of Virtual Generation Limited, a leading Maltese developer of virtual gaming software, effective January 30th, 2019 for approximately US$4.5 million in a combination of cash and stock. In terms of finances, we reached impressive indicators for Q1 2019, with revenue of US$9.3 million (up 7.8 percent), gross gaming revenue (GGR) of US$10.4 million (+12.6 percent) and handle of US$137 million (+51.3 percent). As our CEO, Michele (Mike) Ciavarella, said, it’s evident we have had a strong start of 2019, but it’s a continuation of our 2018 numbers. For instance, in 2018, only in Italy, we have done US$35 million in revenue and US$4 million in profits.
What is the commercial strategy of Newgioco?
Our headquarters are in Toronto, Canada, but our main structure is in Italy. The original developers were in Italy. In the US, we focus on tribal States and places with huge tourism activity. We are not centered in Las Vegas or New Jersey. Those are not our markets. We participate in States such as Montana, South Dakota, Iowa and Washington. There is no competitive advantage in places with various land-based resorts. We have a lot of experience in the Italian market. This is a leisure betting market. Bettors there usually play for fun, not only to earn money. We think the same about tribal casinos in the US. They are also about leisure. Besides, as I mentioned above, we have recently acquired Virtual Generation, that distributes in Latin America (Colombia, Peru, and Mexico) and Africa.
What is the range of products of your company and what are your main goals when your company attends a gaming event?
Our state-of-the-art Elys platform by Odissea is at the forefront of the betting industry. It guarantees efficiency, flexibility and innovative solutions for all partners, agents and end-users who utilize our platform. We have also virtual games: soccer, horse racing, car racing, keno and American Roulette. During a typical gaming event, we show demos of our products to visitors and have lots of meetings with investors and some commercial partners; for instance, restaurant chains that want to implement sports betting. We also contact companies that want to develop content for our virtual product.
How do you anticipate the future development of your company in different markets?
We want to expand our virtual product, get licenses in some countries and sell our live sportsbook solution. We are considering expanding to Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile over the next year. The key is to always take a look at the regulatory environment. In the first moment, Italy was the toughest market to get regulated. In terms of events, we usually attend ICE London, G2E in Las Vegas and Enada in Italy. We will probably go to ICE Africa this year. We also attend some Latin American shows with our Virtual Generation distributor. We have offices in that region. We really consider there are great opportunities to grow our presence in Latin America and Africa. Where we see a good opportunity to expand our business, we take it. In line with the good results we got in the first half of 2019, I think we will keep on growing during the rest of the year.