Pandemic Affects Danske Spil’s Land-based Slots Halls In Q1

Denmark’s state-owned gambling company Danske Spil turned into a mid-fifth earnings report, with small gains in one segment offsetting small losses in another, while rising costs fell profits.

Last week’s figures show Danske Spil ‘s revenue created by DKK1.23b (US$ 179.7 m) in the three months ended March 31, a small 0.8 percent improvement over the same period last year. Yet net profit dropped to DKK398.1 m at 8.6 percent on higher borrowing costs and last year’s divestment of the company’s interest in CEGO games business.

The traditional lottery division Danske Lotteri Spil posted revenue rising almost 5 percent to DKK 640.4 m, while the online casino and sports betting company Danske Licens Spil was down less than 1 percent to DKK511.3 m, with some of the decline attributed to COVID-19 suspension of major sports. That being said, the division of Swush fantasy sports rose 5 percent to an undeniably tiny DKK2.1 m.

The land-based Elite Gaming slots hall unit took a bigger dive, dropping to DKK75.3 m by 18.6 percent. Continuing declines in this segment were expected in the company’s 2019 year-end report but Denmark’s March 13 closure of non-essential retail operations due to the pandemic has increased the rate of decline.

The pandemic is likely to do even greater harm to the Q2 figures of Danske Spil, which has also taken a beat from a few hiccups in its online operations. Its betting sites went offline briefly in the last week of March when unidentified digital assailants targeted its network provider SBTech.

Following an apparent miscommunication with SBTech that led to the company offering wagers on Swedish amateur football, Danske Spil then took the YouBet online brand offline. After offering betting markets on what turned out to be a ghost match in Ukraine, Danske Spil was also humiliated.

While the suspension of major sports has led some operators to announce substantial growth in other online verticals, Spillemyndigheden, a local gambling regulatory agency, recently reported that this was not the case in Denmark.