Wrecked The Poker and Gaming Companies Value Halved

The effects of the coronavirus on the poker and gaming industry are already hitting home hard, with share prices plummeting this week for Stars Group, Playtech, William Hill and 888 among others as global shutdowns take effect…

The Stars Group, the parent company of PokerStars along with Sky Betting and Gaming among other brands, has not been immune to the mass cancellation of sporting events.

CEO Rafi Ashkenazi pointed to at least a short-term hit to sportsbetting revenue, and share prices are sitting at half the previous year’s high.

The recently-documented merger with Flutter Entertainment is still facing regulatory investigation, and Flutter’s shares themselves are down more than 10% due to the global impact of coronavirus.

Flutter revealed this week that if the sporting cancellations continued through the summer, its earnings would face a £90 - £110million hit.

William Hill announced a suspension of its 2019 dividend to shareholders, citing similar expected losses to that of Flutter.

The cancellation of major horseracing events and Euro 2020 are expected to have a serious negative impact, and shareholders’ reaction sent their share price tumbling by roughly 14%.

888Holdings, the Gibraltar-based gaming company that owns 888poker as well as eponymous online casino and sportsbetting brands, saw shares fall markedly also.

Yahoo finance this week noted that it has a poor ‘momentum rank’ and added that “care should be taken if you are considering buying into this stock”.

Playtech, one of the world’s biggest gambling software development company, may have been expected to be in a good position given their online base, but the share price shows otherwise.

In a report this week, Playtech revealed: “The Company believes there is a risk that player behaviour changes the longer the COVID19 situation continues.”

Live dealer games have already been hit, their Philippines operation already closed down, and as with others their sportsbetting has been dealt a blow – the company estimating a €4million per month loss in this area alone.


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