Kindred Reports a “Challenging” FY2022
Kindred Group, one of the leading global betting and gaming operators, has published its financial report for what it termed a “challenging” FY2022. Despite facing a number of challenges last year, the operator behind popular betting sites 32Red, Unibet, and Bingo.com has reiterated its commitment to the sustainability of the betting and gaming industry and to working to make gambling safer and more responsible.
Kindred Group, which initially started as Unibet Group in 1997, was founded with the aim to provide bettors with a better and safer type of gambling in a competitive and quickly developing industry in times of unprecedented technological revolution. The group aimed to run betting sites which combined innovative and cutting-edge customer experience with a strong commitment to safer gambling, social responsibility, and risk of harm reduction. For the past 26 years, the group has been firmly devoted to sustainability and social responsibility. In 2021, Kindred set a global group target of 0% revenue from harmful gambling. As of Q4 FY2022, such revenue stood at 3.3%, down from 3.8% in Q3 for the same year.
In January 2023, Kindred published its first report into the Responsible Gambling Action it had taken and the effect it has had on problem gambling. This is an initiative to which the group committed in August 2022. It is being trialled in Sweden before being rolled out in more betting and gaming jurisdictions. Overall, considering all of Kindred’s betting sites in the UK and abroad, the effect of the group’s responsible gambling projects and initiatives resulted in 82.1% of their customers improving their playing behaviour and habits.
In its joint Annual and Sustainability Report, the group provides an overview of its purpose, strategy, and values, before moving on to various case studies, figures and statistics, facts, and commitments and ambitions for the future of its betting sites and the betting and gaming world as a whole. According to the group’s sustainability framework, there are four main elements to its work – responsible business, secure platform, responsible gambling, and product integrity. Discussing the report, Kindred CEO Henrik Tjärnström said:
“While 2022 has been a challenging year, I am proud and grateful for the hard work put in by all my colleagues at Kindred and at Relax Gaming. We have work to do, and we have set ambitious targets for 2025, as well as an Underlying EBITDA guidance of £200m for the full year 2023. I am fully confident we will achieve this and as a team we will execute on the strategy we have set.”
In the report, Kindred pointed out that FY2022 saw the group generate £343.3m in corporate, betting, and payroll tax, and in sponsorships. The funds were used to invest in local economy and the local communities in which the group operates. Some of the causes benefitting from the funds included sports organisations, charities and community projects, activities promoting responsible gambling, and the creation of new jobs. Through the funds it generated or raised through its popular betting sites in the UK, Kindred continued its support for, and partnership with, projects such as No Heart No Glory, Nolla Utanförskapet, and Au Coeur du Football. Kindred also took the opportunity and used its report to recognise the valuable work of its employees, 109 of which volunteered in a variety of local projects and supported their local communities.
The report also discusses Kindred’s new people strategy which was launched in 2022. In its core, the campaign focuses on six key areas that would ensure that the group can recruit the best talent from across the industry in order to have all the right people work on its social responsibility and safer gambling projects. A major recognition of the group’s efforts came through the All-in index, where it ranked at No.2 due to its outstanding diversity programmes. The company’s Alchemy leadership development programme was a major step in empowering women in predominantly male-dominated industries and positions, with 40% of the participants in the program being women. The group also trialled and implemented a brand new diversity database which works with a variety of statistics and sets targets for the different betting jurisdictions the group operates in, and for the multiple levels of the organisation.
The report also discusses the group’s commitment to protecting the environment. Kindred’s targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions were validated by the prestigious Science Based Targets initiative, an ambitious corporate climate action which aims to “lead the way to a zero-carbon economy, boost innovation, and drive sustainable growth”. The group’s CDP score “B” meant that its ability to monitor, qualify, and improve on carbon emissions has been recognised and confirmed.
While licenced betting sites are usually very committed to the reduction of harmful gambling and to increased social responsibility, Kindred always goes the extra mile to ensure its operation always go hand-in-hand with sustainability. 2022 was not an easy year for the world of betting and gaming, however 2023 has had a promising start through a favourable Q1, and there is no doubt that Kindred will continue to be successful, both in terms of its business operations and its sustainability endeavours.