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Canada

GeoComply Welcomes New Era of Responsible Gambling with Launch of Regulated Online Sports Betting in Massachusetts

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Leading fraud and risk solutions provider GeoComply Solutions Incorporated recorded over 400,000 player accounts in Massachusetts over the opening weekend after the Commonwealth launched regulated online sports betting on Friday, March 10.

Throughout the regulatory process, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has emphasized consumer protection, resulting in an oversight regime with strong rules around advertising and responsible gambling.

GeoComply Solutions Incorporated Senior Vice-President of Compliance, Lindsay Slader, commented: “We are privileged to be licensed in Massachusetts and support operators and the MGC as it builds a regulated online sports betting market with responsible gambling hard-boiled into its regulations. Massachusetts citizens will benefit from legal online sportsbooks dedicated to greater protection and an increased budget for responsible gambling programs.”

Based on Commonwealth officials’ estimates of annualized tax revenue of $60 million, Massachusetts would add about $5.4 million to the Public Health Trust Fund, which largely supports responsible gambling programs. Massachusetts has invested in responsible gambling programs since the 2011 bill that legalized its casinos. The Fund’s budget for 2022 was $17 million.

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GeoComply Solutions Incorporated prevented over 5,000 transactions from devices or accounts with a known history of fraud, saving its customers tens of thousands of dollars. GeoComply Solutions Incorporated recorded a total of 8.1 million geolocation transactions in Massachusetts throughout the opening weekend.

“When Anna [Sainsbury] and David [Briggs] founded GeoComply Solutions Incorporated over a decade ago, they set about solving the geolocation conundrum. Today, one of the biggest challenges facing operators is onboarding genuine players and keeping out fraudsters. With the gold standard of geolocation in place and an experienced team of experts, we are uniquely positioned to lead the fight against fraud in all its forms,” said Slader.

Massachusetts betting action from March 10 to 12, based on GeoComply Solutions Incorporated’s data:

Six operators

406,400 player accounts

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8.1 million geolocation transactions

Massachusetts figures on launch weekend far outstripped those of similar-sized states. It was the fifth busiest state in the United States over the weekend, with only New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York recording more geolocation transactions.

GeoComply Solutions Incorporated is the trusted provider of geolocation verification and fraud-prevention solutions for approved Massachusetts online sports betting operators and its data provides a unique view of the Massachusetts market since it launched on March 10.

GeoComply Solutions Incorporated’s data does not purport to be definitive or represent the entire market in Massachusetts or any other jurisdictions but is intended to provide general insights into relevant market dynamics.

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Bragg Gaming Group

Bragg Gaming Announces Resignation of Chief Financial Officer

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Bragg Gaming Group Inc., a global B2B gaming technology and content provider, announced that Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Ronen Kannor, has notified Bragg’s board of directors (Board) that he will resign from his position to pursue other career opportunities, effective June 3, 2024. The Company confirms that the search for a replacement CFO has commenced.

Matevž Mazij, Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Board, commented: “We thank Ronen for his dedication and commitment to Bragg over the past four years and for his unwavering service as a pivotal member of the leadership team.

“During his tenure as CFO, the Company has undergone huge positive transformation including being uplisted to the Toronto Stock Exchange, dual listed on the NASDAQ and successfully completing two acquisitions, all while reporting consecutive years of revenue, gross profit and adjusted EBITDA growth. We wish Ronen all the very best in his future endeavors.”

Ronen Kannor commented: “It has been an honor to be part of the Bragg team which has successfully navigated many challenges and continued to deliver consistent growth over the past four years. I thank the Board for their support throughout my time with Bragg, and I am now fully focused on ensuring a smooth handover to my successor.

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“Special thanks goes to my finance team, who work tirelessly to deliver the positive change and financial growth that the Company continues to achieve. I wish them and all of my colleagues continued success with Bragg now and in the future.”

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Canada

Rivalry Reports Preliminary Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2023 Results

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  • Betting handle of $423.2 million in FY 20231 increased 82% year-over-year, while reducing marketing spend 15%.
  • Revenue of $35.7 million in FY 2023 increased 34%.
  • Gross profit of $16.2 million in FY 2023, up 66% year-over-year.
  • FY23 sets all-time records for average handle per customer, up nearly 30% year-over-year, average revenue per customer up 38% year-over-year, and record low cost of customer acquisition, down 15% year-over-year.
  • Total player registrations eclipsed 2 million in FY23 while extending Gen Z market leadership.
  • FY24 off to a strong start as the capital raised late Q4 is being effectively deployed – delivering strong KPIs, supported by betting margin trending toward a more than 20% increase over the average of FY23.
  • To meet growing consumer demand the Company is adding greater support for cryptocurrency and exploring implementation of adjacent crypto-enabled technologies.
  • Rivalry is seeing a rise in demand to license its in-house casino games, accelerating the advancement of its B2B vertical.
  • Company re-affirms guidance, anticipates achieving profitability in H1 2024.

Rivalry Corp. (the “Company” or “Rivalry”) (TSXV: RVLY) (OTCQX: RVLCF) (FSE: 9VK), the leading sportsbook and iGaming operator for Gen Z, today announced preliminary and unaudited financial results for the three and 12-month periods ended December 31, 2023. All dollar figures are quoted in Canadian dollars.

“Rivalry exited 2023 as an increasingly diversified company – both geographically and across our product suite,” said Steven Salz, Co-Founder and CEO of Rivalry. “Last year we gained meaningful traction in new segments such as traditional sports, casino, and fantasy, which is widening our opportunity set and positioning us for sustainable growth in the medium- to long-term. We’re happy to have finished the year with all-time high customer economics, diversified revenue streams, and a reinforced competitive moat around Gen Z betting entertainment and experiences.”

“During Q1 we have been strategically deploying capital from our fourth quarter investment in areas that are driving customer acquisition and revenue – such as amplifying proven marketing strategies, releasing higher margin products, and developing proprietary betting experiences – that we expect will begin materializing in our results throughout the first half of 2024 and beyond,” added Salz.

“Our operational excellence across product and brand marketing last year are seen across positive KPI trends and continued year-over-year growth. Ultimately, we are proving that we can acquire and retain a coveted Gen Z demographic through an entertainment-led product set, culturally relevant brand, and a team unafraid of pushing past a long-standing industry status quo.”

Preliminary Full-Year 2023 Highlights2

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  • Betting handle was $423.2 million in the year ended December 31, 2023, an increase of $190.4 million or 82% from $232.8 million in 2022.
  • Revenue was $35.7 million in 2023, an increase of $9.0 million or 34% compared to $26.6 million in the previous year.
  • Gross profit was $16.2 million in 2023, an increase of $6.4 million or 66% from $9.8 million of gross profit in 2022.
  • The Casino segment was a significant driver of growth in 2023, with revenues of $6.4 million up 92% from 2022, and representing 52% of betting handle in the year.
  • The Company expanded its casino offering significantly during 2023, including the release of a new original game Cash & Dash in September, entry into the slots category in October, and the launch of its iOS mobile app in Ontario, enhancing the mobile casino experience and its accessibility.
  • Diversified revenue streams through new segments including traditional sports, which has grown by 60% since FY22, and fantasy, highlighting the elasticity of Rivalry’s brand among Gen Z and broadening TAM.
  • Total operating expenses of $38.9 million in 2023 decreased by $1.0 million year-over-year. The decrease was driven by a reduction in marketing expense, offsetting increases in general & administration and technology & content expense incurred to support the growth of the business.
  • Net loss was $24.3 million for 2023, a reduction of 22% or $6.9 million from the net loss of $31.1 million in 2022.

Fourth Quarter 2023 Highlights

  • Betting handle for the three-month period ended December 31, 2023 was $85.2 million, an increase of $1.2 million or 1.5% from $83.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2022 while marketing spend decreased by 32%.
  • Revenue was $6.5 million in the Q4 2023, representing a decrease of $3.0 million or 32% from $9.4 million of revenue in Q4 2022 due to less favorable sportsbook outcomes compared against an abnormally favorable result experienced in Q4 2022. The Company notes that revenue as a percentage of betting handle was near the average achieved throughout FY23, highlighting the abnormally favorable margin outcome in the comparable quarter, Q4 2022.
  • Gross profit was $3.0 million in Q4 2023, a decrease of $2.0 million or 40% from $5.0 million of gross profit in Q4 2022. The year-over-year decline follows the relative margin impact noted previously. Gross profit as a percentage of betting handle in Q4 2023 was equal to the average in FY23. Rivalry is also pleased to note that its ongoing efforts to stabilize and improve margin are yielding results, with Q1 2024 trending toward a more than 20% improvement over the average in FY23.
  • Net loss was $9.0 million in Q4 2023, a reduction of $3.3 million compared to a net loss of $12.3 million in Q4 2022. Net loss adjusting for accruals, other non-cash items, and one-time expenses, would have been approximately $7.0 million.
  • On November 15, 2023, Rivalry strengthened its balance sheet with the announcement of a private placement offering of $14 million principal amount senior secured convertible debentures to scale several strategic verticals across marketing, product development, and geographic expansion.
  • Released Rivalry Ultimate Fan, a free-to-play NBA fantasy app, to acquire new users and engage existing customers within the product suite.
  • First-party game ‘Cash & Dash’ released in September demonstrated next generation appeal as it became the fifth most-played casino game on our platform and among the top ten highest-grossing by revenue with momentum carrying into Q1, creating downstream licensing opportunities for Rivalry’s IP.

Outlook

“The year ahead is rife with new, innovative product releases arriving in Q2 and continuing throughout 2024,” Salz added. “In addition to the strength of our core roadmap, we are in the process of unlocking what we believe to be two of the most material developments to our business model since launching Rivalry in 2018. The first is a B2B vertical to license our in-house developed games, and the second is exploration and development within the crypto ecosystem – each representing an impactful growth catalyst on our path to profitability this year.”

“I have never had more confidence in our product roadmap and what Rivalry is building this year. Apart from new products, original games, and proprietary features, we have been working to dial-up the overall feel and entertainment value of our core product to provide a tech-savvy, next generation customer with a tailored experience that is well-differentiated within the larger sports betting marketplace.”

Investor Conference Call

Management will host a conference call at 10:00 a.m. EDT on Friday, April 5, 2024 to discuss the Company’s preliminary unaudited year-end and fourth quarter 2023 financial results.

Dial-in: 800-717-1738 (toll free) or (+1) 289-514-5100 (local or international calls)
Webcast:         A live webcast can be accessed from the Events section of the Company’s website
A replay of the webcast will be archived on the Company’s website for one year.

Rivalry expects to file its audited financial statements and management discussion and analysis for the period ended December 31, 2023 by the end of April 2024. The documents will be available on SEDAR+ at sedarplus.ca, and on the Company’s website.

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Related Party Transaction

On April 17, 2022 the Company entered into a secured demand loan (the “Loan”) with Kevin Wimer, the Chief Operating Officer and a Director of the Company. Pursuant to the terms of the Loan, the Company loaned Mr. Wimer US$385,000 which amount bears interest at 3.2% per annum and was repayable on demand by the Company and in any event by April 17, 2024 (the “Maturity Date”). The Loan was entered into to assist Mr. Wimer with the funding of certain tax obligations and is secured by a pledge of Mr. Wimer’s subordinate voting shares of the Company. The Company announces today that it has entered into an amendment to the Loan (the “Loan Amendment”) to extend the Maturity Date to April 17, 2026. The Loan Amendment was approved by the non-interested directors of the Company.

Mr. Wimer is a “related party” of the Company within the meaning of Multilateral Instrument 61-101 – Protection of Minority Security Holders in Special Transactions (“MI 61-101“). As a result, the Loan Amendment is considered to be a “related party transaction” as such term is defined by MI 61-101. The Company is relying on an exemption from the minority shareholder approval requirement set out in MI 61-101 as the fair market value of the transaction does not exceed 25% of the market capitalization of the Company, as determined in accordance with MI 61-101. The Company did not file a material change report more than 21 days before entering into the closing of the Loan Amendment as the details of the Loan Amendment were not settled until shortly prior to the entering into thereof.

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Arthur Paikowsky

Playtech Supports ICRG’s Research on the Impact of Gambling on Under-served Groups in the US and Canada

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Playtech has provided support for the International Center for Responsible Gaming’s (ICRG) research program. The ICRG, a global pioneer and leader in gambling disorder research and education, has been conducting stringent competitions for research grants since 1996.

The ICRG, overseen by an independent Scientific Advisory Board comprising leading addiction specialists, has recently invited applicants to participate in research focused on the impact of gambling on under-served groups in the US or Canada. The strategic initiative aims to ensure funding for high-quality research in this critical area.

Playtech has actively supported this effort by funding research to better understand the impact of gambling on under-served groups in the US and Canada. This research will also help researchers, policymakers, regulators and the industry better understand how best to strengthen and enhance player protection amongst the groups in scope for the study.

Arthur Paikowsky, President of ICRG, said: “We are immensely grateful for Playtech’s donation, which marks a significant step towards improving our understanding of gambling-related health issues among indigenous communities in the US and Canada. This contribution will greatly enhance the effectiveness of responsible gambling measures and Playtech’s commitment to this cause is commendable and will undoubtedly make a substantial impact in the field of gambling research.”

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Jonathan Doubilet, VP of US Business Operations at Playtech, said: “Playtech is committed to creating a safer gambling environment and is a strong supporter of research that helps reduce gambling related harm and enhance player protection measures. We are delighted to be able to support the ICRG’s research that will help advance player protection for vulnerable groups in the US and Canada.”

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