Betting site Bet-at-home plans a strategic reorientation for 2023
German betting site Bet-at-home has released an announcement following a disappointing financial report for 2022. As expected, the betting site’s numbers are much lower than 2021 due to various factors, including the closure of its UK operations. The company, however, is promising improvements and growth throughout 2023.
Bet-at-home, which used to feature on the list of licenced UK betting sites last year, stopped operating in the UK and faced challenging circumstances in its core jurisdictions. The company has blamed this and also the tightening of betting and gaming regulations in Germany and across Europe – a trend which has been observed in a number of betting and gaming markets including the UK.
For example, in the UK, Gambling Commission made a decision to suspend the company’s betting licence on 7th July 2022, following concerns that “activities may have been carried out contrary to the Gambling Act 2005”. This will be investigated by the Commission, which is carrying a comprehensive review of Bet-at-home with the aim to establish if any social responsibility and anti-money laundering regulations have been breached.
The Commission has been very active in recent months, having fined several UK betting sites for not being up-to-scratch when it comes to safer gambling rules, social responsibility, and anti-money laundering procedures. Amongst these were a settlement for £620,000 with 10Bet, and before that a large fine of £442,750 for Tonybet. Another large UK online bookmaker, vbet, also had to pay a settlement of £337,631 following various issues in relation to its procedures and policies. Bet-at-home, however, was one of the few UK betting sites that suffered the harshest of regulatory actions – suspension. It was not surprising, therefore, that on 12 July 2022, the bookmaker decided to close down its UK operation and surrender its licence.
Other issues that affected the company’s profit included the outsourcing a number of services to B2B provider of software and services to betting sites EveryMatrix. As a result of this, Bet-at-home cut 45 jobs and advised that its profit will certainly suffer as part of this essential restructuring. Finally, In September 2022, the company left the Austrian betting and gaming market, which was associated with increased risk in liquidity.
Looking at the actual numbers leading to the need for “strategic reorientation”, the company recorded an overall loss of £520,000, and reported that its GGR (gross gaming revenue) had dropped by 10% since 2021 – from £52.8m to £47.6m. To reassure investors and interested parties, the company pointed out that the reorganisation of the business has already started. Throughout 2022, a lot of effort was put into activities such as testing and implementation of its new proprietary platform for betting sites. Its software for regulatory requirements also underwent some scrutiny and improvement, and the company focused on the development of key specifications.
In a statement, the betting site said that there is an expectation for “the efficiency of operational processes to increase”. This would be achieved through cost reduction in some areas and further outsourcing of certain services and activities which are too costly to carry out in-house. Further plans for making money includes consolidation and expansion of the company’s operations in Germany and Austria, key markets for Bet-at-home where it is one of the best known betting sites. Finally, the company is planning to make a sustained effort to transform the savings resulting from staff decrease and outsourcing into increased player acquisition and retention and improved marketing and advertising. Bettors can expect to see a full overhaul of the platform and a “more attractive product experience”.
Industry experts are surprised that Bet-at-home is currently struggling as the company has been in operation for 24 years and has steadily grown and developed to become one of the household names of betting sites across Europe. Offering sports betting and online gaming, the bookmaker is currently based in Germany and employs 170 people. As of 2005, it has also offered bettors a casino and live casino products and services. In 2015, the company joined the contingent of betting sites offering virtual sports betting for eSports events across football, tennis, greyhound racing, basketball, and horse racing.
While Bet-at-home and its parent company Betclic Everest Group are naturally disappointed with the financial figures of 2022, they maintain a positive outlook for 2023. The betting industry and all involved will follow the restructuring efforts with interest, and it is likely that Bet-at-home will manage to recover and use its wealth of experience to once again become one of the leading European betting sites. We will report any new developments on our blog.