US market predicted to ‘surpass Europe’ by Better Collective chairman

Jens Bager, Chairman of sports betting platform Better Collective, has tipped the US market to ‘surpass Europe’ in the coming years after revealing substantial growth in the vertical after the firm published its annual report.

After highlighting that expansion into the US market has continued to be a key driver for Better Collective, the chairman predicted that ‘it is a market that may surpass Europe in five to ten years’.

The report said: “In short to medium terms, Better Collective is focused on expanding to the US market, as 2018 saw the repeal of the PASPA Act. This expansion means that the legal status of online sports betting has become a matter of state legislation.

“Furthermore, the majority of states are expected to open for betting in the coming years. Gaining a foothold in the US market by means of two significant acquisitions in 2019, we expect to find new business from the organic approach as the states regulate, while not ruling out additional collaborations and acquisitions.”

During 2019, Better Collective reported that the number of new depositing customers (NDCs) was more than 431,000, with a growth of 66%. This has been attributed largely to a ‘significant increase in sports betting volume’.

Depreciation and amortization amounted to €6,244, up from €3,092, mainly attributable to the company’s acquisitions and media partnerships strategy.

Commenting on the results, Better Collective CEO Jesper Søgaard added: “For the full year 2019, we landed well in line with our financial targets, with an annual growth of 67%, of which 26% organic, along with a record high New Depositing Customers (NDC) growth of 66%.

“We even managed to absorb the newly acquired US businesses and still meet our earnings target of >40% EBITA-margin. All this combined makes me very satisfied with this year’s performance.

“In 2019, we continued our focus on developing and maturing our branded products with high-quality content and user experience. We want to bring value to our users and enhance the entertainment of betting, which is the driving factor for our product development and our strategy in general.

“We signed new media partnerships, hosted our first bookmaker award show and expanded our business in the newly opened US market. Through these initiatives, Better Collective has in 2019 moved towards becoming a more broad-based sports media group working on a variety of platforms.”

In addition to this, the sports betting affiliate registered a 67% growth in revenues, up from €40,483 in 2018 to €67,449, while also posting an EBITDA increase from €16,241 in 2018 to €28,061.

Bager concluded: “Through acquisitions, we have invested significantly in growing our market share, our leading position, and the number of offices and employees.

“Growing through acquisitions and adding new offices and employees at the pace that Better Collective has done in recent years requires a firm focus on integration and management development.

“The board remains focused on governance structures, ensuring that business processes and risk management measures continue to match our growth ambitions and fast increasing business volume.

“We have managed to share best practices across new entities as well as creating cross-regional teams, securing synergy effects and an inspirational environment for employees in the Better Collective group.

“2020 may turn out to be a challenging year for the sports betting industry as COVID-19 is impacting societies, businesses and sports events. As we publish this report, our financial targets for 2020 remain intact. We have a strong balance sheet and financing position.

“However, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and adjust our activities accordingly. I wish to thank all our shareholders for the continued support on our exciting journey, and founders, management and employees for their hard, dedicated, and highly appreciated work leading to a successful 2019.”