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Online poker saves the day for Leisure and Gaming Group

Q4, 2009 results posted this week by the Leisure and Gaming plc group show plunging revenues in casino and sports betting ameliorated by good poker results, especially in the Italian market. Figures to end December last year show revenues from casino products dived by almost 70% to €4.5 million, from €14.7 million in 2008, generating a net win reduced by a third to €200,000, from €300,000 last time. The dismal performance was attributed to the closure of Acropolis casino, a move to poker and a change of casino provider in Greece.

Sports betting revenues similarly plunged, declining 14% to €19.4 million (2008: €22.4 million) and delivering a net win of €4.3 million, down €600,000 from the 2008 equivalent. Lotto and skill games were also down 30% to €700,000, generating a net win 50% down at €200,000.

Poker reversed the downward trend, delivering an increase in tournament fees some five times greater than last time to €14.7 million, (2008: €2.7 million) on which rake of €2 million was earened - four times greater than the same period last year.

"Poker activity in Italy has increased and now contributes 30% of net win, with weekly tournament fees of €1.1 million," said chief executive Richard Creed. "The adverse weather in late December resulted in a disruption in the matches played which led to a smaller fixture list causing reduced volumes and margins."

Other income from advertising dipped to €500,000, a drop of €100,000 from last year.

Gross profit earned was €1.8 million - €100,000 lower than in 2008.

Although the group recovered €600,000 in license guarantees, this was largely spent on other operational imperatives. "In the light of this expenditure and possible further guarantees being required for casino games coupled with continued software development, the Group is unlikely to declare a dividend for 2009,” a company statement warned.

Source: InfoPowa News

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