UK Bingo Giant Receives $5.2 Million Fine
Online bingo behemoth Stride Gaming is gearing itself up to pay out a massive fine of £4m (€4.5m/$5.2m). The regulatory penalty was imposed on the operator for what has been described as ‘compliance failures’.
The gaming company, which is believed to hold around a 25% market share of the UK’s online bingo market, lost as much as a third of its own market value in August after revealing that it had been informed that the UK Gambling Commission intended to slap it with a ‘significant’ financial fine.
The UKGC reportedly opted for this approach after launching a review into how one of the operator’s biggest brands carried out its licensed activities in its history. In a trading update on Wednesday, Stride also added that its board had made provisions for £4 million for the anticipated penalty.
Fine to Be Settled by End of 2018
It is now expected that the UK Gambling Commission’s final decision on the fine will be made before the current year is through. Neither the bingo company nor the UK watchdog has confirmed the name of the brand that was found to have transgressed the latter’s compliance laws. The Commission has, however, noted that it will not comment further until the matter is resolved.
Brands under Stride’s ownership include Lucky Pants Bingo, Kitty Bingo, and online casino platform Spin and Win. In the meantime, Stride has noted that it expects to reveal net gaming revenues of at least £85 million and adjusted EBITDA of over £16 million in its fiscal results for the year to August 31 next month.
Falling in line with industry expectations, the firm’s expected net gaming revenue would be slightly higher than the £82 million revised figures for 2017, while its EBIDTA would actually be down by around 20% after adjustments have been made.
CEO Boyd Comments on Results
The company has hailed its ‘resilient performance’ in light of challenging trading conditions and the hefty costs of introducing further responsible gambling measures. In a statement, CEO Eitan Boyd noted that he is pleased to reveal that his group traded well in H2 2018, despite headwinds hitting the UK iGaming market hard.
Now, Boyd says, his firm’s focus is on delivering further market share growth within the UK, driven by continuous gaming innovation and a further increase in player loyalty. This, he said, will be fueled by the strength of Stride’s own technology, along with its cutting edge capabilities in the business analytics department.