Gamesys Group Considers Launching Sportsbook to Replace Virgin

Gamesys Group considers launching a sportsbook.

A jockey riding a horse at a racetrack

Gamesy consider a sportsbook © Pixabay.

The Gamesys Group could launch a sports betting brand to compete in the UK market. A senior manager confirmed in the firm’s Q3 earnings call that they were considering replacing Virgin Bet.

Gamesys lost control of the online bookmaker when the brand was held back in the recent JPJ/Gamesys merger, alongside the LiveScore business. And while they have stated they are interested in re-joining the sportsbook arena, they have not confirmed if this will be under a new or existing brand.

JPJ Group completed its £490m takeover of Gamesys earlier this year, but despite the deal including Virgin Games brands, the Virgin Bet brand was excluded from the deal. Once the merger took place, JPJ Group ceased trading on the London Stock Exchange with the combined entity continuing to operate under the name Gamesys Group.

Executive chairman Neil Goulden said:

There are no immediate plans, but yes it’s something we would consider, no decision has been made on that, but it’s something very much on Lee Fenton’s mind as he puts together the group’s strategy for the future. Neil Goulden, Gamesys Executive chairman.

As part of that merger, 10,8127,524 ordinary shares for trading on the main market on the London Stock Exchange alongside 74,473,678 existing shares in JPJ Group and 33,653,846 new shares as part of the deal. Goulden heralded the acquisition as an “important milestone” for the company and believed the merger would allow the firm to “deliver earnings accretion for shareholders over the next 12 months.”

Lee Fenton, who became Gamesys Group CEO, said the deal between JPJ and Gamesys was a combination of “two complementary businesses” and this allowed for greater scale and capability. This he stated, would allow the new venture to deal in an increasingly competitive egaming market. He added that their merger gave them access to an exceptional combined talent base and an enhanced brand portfolio.

In addition to confirming Lee Fenton as Gamesys Group CEO, Robeson Reeves was named as COO, and former JPJ Group CEO Simon Wykes becomes the transition director for the next 12 months, and one of his primary duties will be to ensure smooth integration of the two business in the short-term.

The capital that the merger provided may be needed to reassure investors that the operator will be able to survive calls for £2 stake limit on online slots. A similar restriction on FOBTs hit retail bookmakers hard, and there are fears that another revenue hitting measure may have a similar effect on online operators.

However, Neil Goulden dismissed these concerns, while admitting that fears over new regulations were not good for customers, staff or investors, he said he didn’t believe the proposals would ever become law.

The company state that the average slot stake was 80p for its customers and a £2 limit would only see an approximate 5% hit to revenues.

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