STS to Leave the UK iGaming Market
Polish iGaming company STS Group has announced that it will end its operations in the United Kingdom. The news comes after the Group announced a very successful 2022 and a record revenue for Q4.
STS Group has said that it will also stop operating in Estonia. The reason for this, according to the Group, is that it wants to focus more on its operations in Poland, where the company was originally founded. Industry experts believe that significant success in Poland in 2022 has resulted in the decision to take advantage of the momentum and develop in that market, while leaving non-core markets in order to regroup and refocus.
At present, the company still offers various online services for UK customers, and these include sports betting, eSports, and virtual sports. STS Group’s UK website for online sports betting is stsbet.co.uk, and it accepts no further registrations. When a new user tries to register, they see a message stating that the Group will no longer provide betting services to international customers from 14/02/2023. The message further states that no deposits will be accepted until then, however existing users can continue use the services offered on the website with their existing balance until the end of 13/02/2023, or withdraw it if they prefer. If customers are unable to withdraw their funds by then, they will be able to do so afterwards by contacting the Customer Support Team.
The company has also provided a short FAQ section on this message, which suggests that many reasons have influenced the decision to stop operating in the UK. One of these decisions is cited as “the economics of operating a small iGaming business in the UK market”.
Despite the above message, 2022 has been a significant success for STS Group and the company reported record revenue. The total amount of stakes seen by the company increased to £868.4m, which is 4.2% more than 2021. Its gross gaming revenue was also up by 9.2% to over £224m. STS Group net gaming period also went up and amounted to about £125m, an increase of about £21m. As a result, the company has adjusted its EBITDA to about £50m.
According to the company, the reason for its record revenue was its strong performance in the fourth quarter of 2022. Compared to the same period in 2021, the net gaming revenue of STS Group went up by 47%, and amounted to about £37.5m. This was a welcome recovery following a drop in revenue for the second quarter of 2022 – the company reported that Q2 was 16.6% lower compared to the year before. Overall, Q4 was strong in every aspect, with 13% increase in the total amount staked by customers, a 40% increase in the number of active players (totalling 542,000), and a significant rise in new customers – 32% or 202,000 bettors. In terms of customers making deposits for the first time, the numbers grew from 60,000 in Q4 of 2021, to 154,000 in the same period of 2022.
Despite this success, UK customers will soon find themselves having to choose another online sports betting site to take their business to. There are a number of options to choose from, and the beginning of 2023 is a good time to make the transition, as an uplift in the gaming and betting market means that bookmakers currently offer excellent introductory offers for new customers. A good place to start the search would be our list of best betting sites of 2023, from which bettors can access our reviews of sports betting providers in the UK.
Speaking about the successful revenue of STS Group and the decision to leave the UK and Estonia, President of the Management Board Mateusz Juroszek said:
“Our offer attracted as many as two hundred thousand new players in the last three months of the year. During the World Cup alone, we had nearly half a million active customer. […] Since the beginning of this year, we have been focusing our activity exclusively on Poland. Our goal for the difficult year 2023 is greater efficiency of operations and a number of implemented savings.”
Juroszek pointed out that the company’s success in Poland came despite the various difficulties faced in 2022, including economic stagnation, high inflation, and the War in Ukraine.
Juroszek also mentioned the new deal between STS Group and the Polish Football Association, which is expected to improve the company’s profitability and grow their EBITDA further. The partnership dates back to 2014, however in 2018 STS Group became the official partner for the Polish National Team, and the relationship has continued to flourish and expand since then.