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Altenar Collaborates with DATA.BET to Boost eSports Betting Offerings

Altenar, a leading provider of betting solutions, has announced a strategic partnership with premium eSports betting provider DATA.BET. This collaboration aims to deliver advanced and customizable eSports solutions to globally licensed operators, marking a significant enhancement in Altenar’s service offerings.

Integration of Advanced eSports Solutions

altenar_enters_partnership_with_data_bet_to_enhance_esports_offeringAs part of this integration, DATA.BET will supply Altenar with tailored odds and live score feeds from official sources, covering over 30 eSports disciplines and more than 2,000 markets. Managed by a dedicated 24/7 in-house trading team, this partnership introduces advanced features that are set to revolutionize Altenar’s eSports offerings.

The collaboration allows Altenar to provide a wider range of content with exceptional accuracy and reliability. The inclusion of adaptable widgets for popular eSports titles will significantly enhance player engagement and experience. This seamless and rapid content delivery is a testament to Altenar’s commitment to innovation and excellence in the betting industry.

Commitment to Long-term Growth and Innovation

The alliance between Altenar and DATA.BET is more than just a business deal; it represents a shared vision for long-term growth and continued innovation in the eSports sector. By focusing on product personalization, flexibility, and reliability, both companies are dedicated to providing solutions that elevate operators’ businesses.

Stanislav Silin, CEO at Altenar, emphasized the importance of this partnership: “Partnering with DATA.BET underscores our commitment to choosing providers with premium solutions that power our portfolio. Product personalization, flexibility, and reliability are the primary focuses of our company in delivering solutions that elevate operators’ business.”

Enhancing Global Competitiveness

For DATA.BET, this partnership is an opportunity to showcase the potential and technological advancements of the eSports sector on a global scale. Otto Bonning, Head of Sales at DATA.BET, expressed his enthusiasm: “The partnership with Altenar is a great opportunity to demonstrate the potential and technological advancements of the esports sector globally. We appreciate the trust placed in us and continue to enhance the functionality of our solution to strengthen our partners’ competitiveness in the market.”

The collaboration not only boosts the capabilities of both companies but also enhances the overall eSports betting landscape, providing operators with cutting-edge tools to meet the growing demands of the market.

The partnership between Altenar and DATA.BET marks a significant step forward in the evolution of eSports betting. By combining Altenar’s robust platform with DATA.BET’s specialized eSports solutions, operators can now offer their players a more comprehensive and engaging betting experience. This collaboration highlights both companies’ dedication to innovation, excellence, and the continuous improvement of their service offerings.

Source: “Altenar partners with DATA.BET to enhance eSports offering”. Altenar. June 4, 2024.

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Penn Entertainment Failing in Sports Betting, Should Consider Sale, Says Investor

In a letter to Penn Entertainment’s (NASDAQ: PENN) board of directors, the Donerail Group, which has long been an investor in the regional casino operator, said the gaming company is failing in online sports betting, is overcompensating CEO Jay Snowden, and should consider a sale to create shareholder value.

An image for Penn Entertainment. Investor Donerail Group said CEO Jay Snowden is overpaid and Penn should consider selling itself. (Image: Penn Entertainment)

Donerail Managing Partner Will Wyatt opined in the letter to Penn Chairman David Handler that the gaming company has spent four years and billions of dollars of shareholder capital in a bid to gain a foothold in the online sports betting space, but those efforts have proven unsuccessful.

Moreover, the growing pattern of guidance misses, alongside a demonstrated unyielding appetite to continue to invest in the Company’s fledgling Interactive projects, irrespective of past results and without a clear return framework, has significantly damaged the credibility of this management team and Board of Directors,” wrote Wyatt.

There’s something to those claims. Between January 2020 and February 2023, Penn shelled out about $551 million to acquire Barstool Sports in an effort to leverage that brand as a catalyst for its online and retail sportsbooks, but those dividends never accrued.

Last August, the regional casino giant sold Barstool back to founder David Portnoy for just $1 as it entered into a costly agreement with Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS) to use ESPN branding for the Penn-operated ESPN Bet mobile betting app. In addition to paying ESPN $1.5 billion over 10 years, the gaming company also granted the network $500 million in equity warrants. While ESPN Bet has performed better than Barstool Sportsbook, Penn has made little headway in terms of wresting market share from larger rivals DraftKings and FanDuel.

Penn Entertainment Sale Makes Sense, Says Donerail

The letter by Donerail, a Los Angeles-based, event-driven money manager, sparked a noteworthy rally by Penn shares with the stock closing high by 19.62% on volume that was more than quadruple the daily average. However, today’s showing was a departure from the norm.

As Wyatt pointed out to Handler, Penn shares shed 80% over the past three years. Today, the stock closed at $17.50 — a far cry from the all-time of $142 set in March 2021. That lengthy slump coupled with the aforementioned board and management missteps are among the reasons Donerail believes Penn should consider selling itself — a move that if executed could fetch more than double the operator’s current market value of $2.19 billion, according to Wyatt.

“Given our understanding of the Company’s assets, however, alongside an understanding of the industry participants’ current strategic appetite to grow inorganically, we do believe that a sale of the Company’s assets, if undertaken, could generate meaningful and certain value creation for equity investors,” he noted to Handler.

In the letter, Wyatt observed that Penn’s market capitalization represents a steep discount to the $13.35 billion average found among its peer group, but the Donerail partner didn’t directly identify potential suitors for the gaming company.

In recent months, Penn has been the subject of attention by professional investors. Last month, David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital announced “medium sized” stake in Penn. Last December, HG Vora said it took an interest of 18.5% of Penn’s shares outstanding and demanded board seats in an effort to push for change at the gaming company. Despite that fanfare, the stock shed almost a third of its value since the start of 2024.

Donerail Decries Snowden Compensation

Wyatt didn’t hold back in his criticism of Penn’s compensation of CEO Jay Snowden, noting the board signed off on $99.3 million in total pay for the executive between 2020 and 2023 — a period that included significant declines by the stock.

Citing Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), Wyatt said Snowden has the worst possible score issued by the firm in terms of his compensation being aligned with shareholder interests.

“In fact, Mr. Snowden’s compensation was deemed to be so gratuitous, As You Sow chose to use PENN as a case-study of wrongdoing in its report. Institutional shareholders appear to share our view, with leading institutional investors BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street Global Advisors, and CalSTRS all having voted against PENN’s executive compensation in the past, yet meaningful change has not been made by the Board’s compensation committee,” said Wyatt.

As You Sow, a leading shareholder advisory group, recently noted that Snowden was the third-most overpaid CEO among S&P 500 companies, but the stock was removed that index in September 2022.

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Madrid Reports Significant Decrease in Betting Shops and Gambling Saloons

La-Comunidad-de-Madrid-reduce-un-60-las-casas-de-apuestas-desde-2019The Government of Madrid has announced a significant reduction in the number of land-based betting shops within the Spanish autonomous community, with a reported 60% decrease since 2019. The number of betting shops has dropped from 160 in that year to just 64 currently. Additionally, gambling saloons have seen a decreasing trend of 8%.

During a presentation to the plenary session of the Madrid Assembly, Carlos Novillo, the Minister of Environment, Interior, and Agriculture, highlighted the region’s standing in terms of gambling saloons per capita. Madrid ranks 14th out of the 17 autonomous communities and the two autonomous cities in Spain in terms of gambling saloons per 100,000 inhabitants.

Efforts in Regulation and Compliance

Carlos Novillo provided further insights, noting that the Madrid government has conducted an extensive number of inspections to ensure regulatory compliance. In 2023 alone, up to 27,000 inspections were carried out, with an additional 15,000 inspections conducted so far in 2024. These inspections have shown a decreasing balance of sanctions, which Novillo interprets as evidence of the sector’s adaptation and respect for the current regulations.

“The decreasing balance of sanctions indicates that the sector is adapting to regulation and is respecting it,” stated Novillo during his address. He emphasized that the efforts of the regional government to regulate and control the betting and gambling sector are bearing fruit.

Impact on Accessibility and Compliance

The reduction in the number of gambling establishments, alongside the decrease in sanctions, suggests a trend towards greater compliance by operators with the regulations imposed by the regional government. This compliance potentially leads to a decrease in the accessibility of these premises for residents of the Community of Madrid, contributing to a more controlled gambling environment.

Novillo concluded his remarks by reinforcing the positive outcomes of the regulatory measures, stating, “This trend suggests a greater compliance by operators with the regulations imposed, as well as a possible decrease in the accessibility of these premises for residents of the Community of Madrid.”

Additional Context from Regional Data

Supporting the minister’s statements, regional data indicates that the efforts of the Madrid government are effectively managing the gambling landscape. The comprehensive inspections and subsequent reduction in sanctions highlight the commitment to ensuring a responsible and regulated gambling environment.

As the Community of Madrid continues to monitor and regulate the sector, these measures demonstrate a proactive approach to managing the impacts of gambling on its residents. The government’s actions serve as a model for other regions aiming to balance industry growth with social responsibility.

Source: “La Comunidad de Madrid reduce un 60% las casas de apuestas desde 2019”. MadridActual. May 23, 2024.

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SBC Summit North America 2024: Sports Betting and iGaming Professional Insights

networking_learning_and_celebrating_success_inside_sbc_summit_north_america_2024Amidst a rapidly evolving industry, the SBC Summit North America, held from May 7th to 9th, emerged as an essential event for professionals in sports betting and iGaming. Attendees gathered to explore emerging trends, share best practices, and prepare for an exciting future in the industry.

Rasmus Sojmark, CEO and Founder of SBC, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “We had nearly 5,000 of you join us this year, a substantial increase from the 3,500 delegates we gathered at the Meadowlands last year. I am always happy to feel your support, and it seems that every year, more and more of you realize how much work the entire SBC team puts into the event. Thank you for making this edition special. It was a blast.”

Engaging Conference Program and Notable Speakers

The summit featured an extensive conference program spread across four stages, with contributions from 300 industry leaders, offering attendees abundant learning opportunities. The event provided a platform to identify challenges, discuss solutions, and explore the potential of North American markets for both regional and global companies.

Among the notable speakers were BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt, seasoned professionals like Jan Jones Blackhurst, and former football legend Dan Marino. Insightful perspectives were shared by Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus on taxation and Shawn Fluharty, President of the National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS), who advocated for model iGaming legislation. Donna Orender, former President of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), added to the diversity of topics covered, ensuring a comprehensive discussion.

Stephanie Maxwell, Deputy Director and General Counsel of the Tennessee Sports Wagering Council, highlighted the event’s value, stating, “Being here and having the opportunity to listen to panellists and learn how they’ve addressed specific issues and pain points, it’s been really helpful.”

Kenneth Fuchs, COO of Caesars Digital, added, “The conference is organized in a way that makes it easy to find what interests you and the topics are generally useful regardless of your role in the industry. Everybody can come here and learn something.”

Networking and Inclusivity

Sarah Brennan, Senior Director of Compliance at BetMGM, shared her perspective as a speaker, noting, “One of the unique aspects of SBC is the very personal interaction prior to participating in this event, which allows you to speak on a panel that’s truly relevant to your personal experience in your professional capacity right now.”

The post-event survey for exhibitors and sponsors revealed a very strong Net Promoter Score (NPS), reaffirming SBC’s dedication to providing unique experiences and value to its customers. With 100 brands showcasing as exhibitors and sponsors, there was a notably diverse representation of companies.

Brennan emphasized, “There’s a big focus on inviting different groups; I saw a lot of vendors this year that hadn’t been at SBC previously, and many regulators are here. SBC does a great job of being very inclusive about who is represented, both from the US and across the globe.”

Sam (Shmulik) Segal, Co-Founder and CEO of MediaTroopers, a long-time sponsor but first-time exhibitor, remarked, “We decided to exhibit as this is our most important market and SBC Summit North America is the most important conference of the year. We always conduct a lot of business here; all of our partners are present. This year, we thought it was time to have a stand of our own so that people who don’t know the company can get to know it.”

Diverse Networking Events and Industry Insights

The show floor buzzed with various networking events, from gatherings for women in gaming to those for the tribal community, as well as meet-ups dedicated to responsible gambling. SBC’s objective of fostering diverse representation at the event was evident through the array of attendees.

Maxwell pointed out, “I’m a regulator in Tennessee, and our motivation (for attending this event) is the opportunity to connect with all the different kinds of people we work with – other regulators, vendors, operators.”

“The event has definitely evolved. There are way more people here. A lot more people, new entries, and new faces, and it’s exciting to see that every year honestly,” added Brett Hoffman, Founder of Gator Wagers.

Fuchs agreed, “Everybody that I generally want to catch up with is here, whether it’s across payments, data, innovation, or other operator peers, or people I know from the media, so it’s a nice mix of the industry.”

Segal added, “It seems that this time it’s even more packed than in previous years – we’ve seen everyone we’re working with in North America, everyone. It was amazing for us.”

In typical SBC fashion, the evenings concluded with networking events held at NY hotspots such as Slate NYC, Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge at Moxy Times Square, and the iconic Red Bull Arena.

Shawn Fluharty, who apart from his function as President of NCLGS, is also the Head of Government Affairs at Play’n GO, a headline sponsor of the party at Slate, commented, “You have companies from all over the world convening here because they know they’re going to shake hands with the people who are important in the industry and make those connections.”

Slot influencer Kelly Koffler was brief but expressive: “My biggest takeaway from the event is that you guys throw one hell of a party!” The Casino Kelly streamer, summarized the essence of the event well. “There’s a lot of value for anyone doing what I’m doing, because iGaming is only becoming more prevalent, so the more we learn, the more we can give to our viewers. They look up to us to be educated, so this is perfect for that.”

Mark Hicks, Managing Director of the NCAA, remarked, “This is the best event to attend throughout the year. Everybody we need to see is here, and the educational sessions are phenomenal.”

Source: “Networking, Learning, and Celebrating Success: Inside SBC Summit North America 2024”. May 14, 2024.

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Caesars Q1 Results Miss Estimates as Regional Casinos, Sports Betting Lag

Shares of Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ: CZR) slumped during Tuesday’s after-hours session, extending declines following a 4.66% drop during normal trading hours after the casino operator posted first-quarter results that badly missed Wall Street forecasts.

Caesars Digital
Caesars Palace Las Vegas. The operator said first-quarter earnings and revenue at its Las Vegas and regional casinos declined. (Image: YouTube)

The Harrah’s operator said it lost 73 cents a share on revenue of $2.74 billion in the first three months of the year. Analysts expected a loss of eight cents on sales of $2.83 billion. While the gaming company mentioned unfavorable outcomes on the Super Bowl and the NCAA Tournament as among the reasons the first-quarter numbers missed forecasts, analysts and investors might apply scrutiny to Caesars’ Las Vegas and regional casino results.

On the Strip where it’s the second-largest operator, Caesars revenue declined to $1.03 billion in the March quarter from $1.11 billion a year earlier. The gaming company said adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) at its Sin City venues declined to $440 million from $533 million a year earlier.

That could heighten concerns that activity is slowing down on the Strip following a multi-year run of pent-up demand sparked by coronavirus shutdowns.

Caesars Regional Woes Not Surprising

Caesars said its regional casinos posted first-quarter adjusted EBITDA of $443 million on revenue of $1.37 billion, down from $448 million and $1.39 billion a year earlier.

The tepid results from the regional side of Caesars aren’t surprising because multiple operators have flagged softness at such venues due to bad weather in January that hampered visitation to gaming venues in Reno/Tahoe and the Midwest. Additionally, there are mounting signs of lower-tier bettors reducing spending at gaming venues in the South.

There have been signs that high interest, sticky inflation, and other macroeconomic headwinds are weighing on some gaming venues in the Midwest and the South. Likewise, six of the nine casinos in Atlantic City, NJ experienced profit declines last year as more locals embraced iGaming.

“Moving past the first quarter headwinds, we remain optimistic toward improved operating results throughout the balance of the year,” said CEO Tom Reeg in a statement.

Modest Progress on Debt Reduction

Entering this year, analysts and investors wanted to see more evidence of Caesars trimming its debt burden — one of the industry’s largest. There were incremental signs of that progress in the first quarter. As of March 31, the Horseshoe operator had $12.436 billion in outstanding liabilities compared to $12.439 billion at the end of 2023.

At the end of the March quarter, Caesars had cash and cash equivalents of $726 million, a figure that does not include $139 million in restricted cash.

“Excluding joint venture capex, we estimate 2024 cash capex spend of $800 million. We anticipate using free cash flows to continue to reduce debt in 2024,” said CFO Bret Yunker in the press release.

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