Newgioco Group Inc (NASDAQ:NWGI) told investors Friday that it has seen a surge in sports betting handle, a measure of wagers placed by customers, as sports have begun to return in Europe.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shut down regular season sports — and sports betting — around the world. Now, though, restrictions imposed by the pandemic are beginning to ease in certain areas.
Betting handle has more than doubled from about $600,000 in April to $1.3 million in May, thanks largely to the resumption of play in the German soccer league Bundesliga on May 16.
The company expects the increase to continue. The Spanish league La Liga restarted on Thursday, and the Italian Soccer Championship is scheduled to restart on June 15th with the Italian Cup and Serie A matches. Italian Serie B and the English Premier League are slated to resume play on June 17.
“Through unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID pandemic, our operations team in Italy and Austria demonstrated remarkable resolve and courage to maintain stability and sustain cash on hand and betting reserves,” CEO Michele (Mike) Ciavarella said in a statement. “The results reflected in our rebounding performance within Europe is a prime example of the importance of geographic diversification and product diversification of our business model.”
Newgioco believes the number of delayed matches played over the next months could get it over the hump to meet performance goals set before the pandemic.
“Revised league play schedules could likely mean that thousands of matches will be played over the next few months, which despite the three month lockdown from March through May gives us great confidence that we can achieve our stated performance goals through the remainder of 2020,” Ciavarella said.
“Additionally, the restart of North American sports events such as NASCAR Racing, golf events and leagues such as the NHL [and] NBA, along with several others, are contemplating a start within a few months would represent key developments in returning to normal operations.”
Toronto-based Newgioco currently makes 100% of its revenues in Italy where it first established operations in the early 1990s.
Contact Andrew Kessel at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kessel