Betclic Everest to record €20m EBITDA in France in 2013 and confident about regulated markets
Members of Betclic Everest Group’s senior management team have expressed their confidence in the future of the French online betting market, announced a major relaunch of Everest Poker and that the group will record more than €20m EBITDA in France in 2013 following its restructuring in the last couple of years.
Speaking at a press conference held on Thursday morning, Isabelle Andres and Marc Guigo, BEG chief executive and director for France and central Europe respectively, praised the company’s work in its core betting business and said it would be back in the black at an operating profit level this year while all the group’s brands: Betclic, Everest, Expekt and Bet-at-home, would generate €250-€300m in gross gaming revenues in 2013.
Guigo said Betclic had managed to keep its 36-37% market share since the market opening of 2010, the French online betting market recorded €584m in stakes, a 13% rise on the same period in 2012, in the first nine months of 2013.
Both executives were confident in the future health of the online betting market, which has been boosted by major investments in PSG and Monaco football clubs and punters being interested in Champions league and international bets, and said it had gained in maturity in the past year.
“Betclic has managed to keep a strong and stable position in the most heavily taxed market in the EU and in difficult (economic) conditions,” said Guigo, “the online betting market is competitive and dynamic and we have focused our growth on three key points: mobile, where over 40% of bets are now placed by our players, football betting, which now accounts for 62% of our betting mix, the World Cup in 2014 and the development of our bets offering, where football offers have now doubled and tennis offers have grown 50%.”
Isabelle Andres said "40% of BEG's revenues are generated in France and more than 50% of the group's revenues now come from regulated markets, a figure that is closer to 30% for other EU operators". She added that BEG would apply for a sports betting licence for the regulating German market in 2014.
Andres also announced a major relaunch of the Everest Poker brand in the coming months and explained that although the market had two clear leaders in Winamax and PokerStars, “the third place on the podium is very much up for grabs”. Everest Poker would be competing for it alongside the other contenders that are PMU Poker and Partypoker.fr, PMU’s stable mate on the bwin party platform.
The BEG chief executive added that despite the gloom surrounding the online poker scene in France, stakes for cash games were down 21% to €1bn during the third quarter of 2013 on the same period last year, “from an economic point of view, poker is less taxed than betting so there is an economic interest in developing the market.
“It’s complicated and a number of players have left but a number of them are still there and we believe there is an opportunity to take third place in the market. In terms of verticals, (any regulatory change to) horse racing pari mutuel (forcing PMU to split its online and offline activities) will take however long it takes while (potential regulation of online) casinos is not on the books.
“So from a strategic point of view, Betclic can say ‘we’re purely a sports betting operator’ or we can do more than that and we have a brand like Everest Poker and there’s really something to be done with it. It won’t be easy and the market is in a difficult place at the moment but the timing is good and when we look at what we’ve been able to do in online betting, a market that is very heavily taxed with very strict working conditions, there’s no reason we can’t succeed in poker.”
The plan for BEG is to increase its current 8% online poker market share in France by 50% in 2014. The company has launched a TV and press campaign that will end in January next year and will put forward Everest’s ‘historical’ notoriety and long term involvement in the French market.