Esports Entertainment Group (EEG) narrowed its net loss to $32.3m in the fiscal year 2023 (12 months ended 30 June 2023), according to a new business update.

Financial results

Revenue dropped significantly from FY22 to FY23, as the company generated $23m in the latest financial year, compared to $58.4m in the prior year.

That drop was related to recent changes in EEG’s structure, which have seen it offload many of its formerly owned assets to focus more clearly on its presence in the esports sector.

Although revenue has fallen, EEG was also able to dramatically reduce its costs over the reporting period.

The cost of revenue fell from $24.2m in FY22 to just $8.8m in FY23, while sales and marketing expenses fell from $25.7m to $5.9m over the same period.

General and administrative expenses, meanwhile, fell from $51.3m to $28.9m.

As a result, EEG’s net loss for the fiscal year 2023 was reduced to $32.3m, compared to $102.2m in FY22.

Restructure continues

In April, EEG’s new CEO Alex Igelman revealed that the company had reduced its headcount from 158 to 99, thereby lowering salary costs by around 36%, alongside a slew of other cost saving measures.

At the same time, the business had reduced its debt and other liabilities through several measures including the sale of Bethard and closure of UK-licensed Argyll Entertainment.

“Over recent months, the company has undertaken a comprehensive examination of our organisation, focusing on the anticipated trajectory of the esports and iGaming sectors,” said CEO Igelman in the company’s FY23 business update. 

“Through this process, we conducted a deep dive into our business from top to bottom and pinpointed operations and contracts that weren’t profitable, leading to decisive actions that have set us up for a promising future. 

“Although the restructuring came with one-time expenses, we are confident that the long-term advantages will significantly outweigh these costs.”

Esports focus

The business update also provided additional information on EEG’s renewed focus on the esports sector.

“Our recent focus has turned towards developing initiatives to further broaden the company’s esports and iGaming offerings in order to create a comprehensive, end-to-end offering of online betting options to our customers,” Igelman said.

The company has recently expanded an existing agreement with esports betting solution provider Oddin.gg, whose iFrame solution is set to be integrated into EEG’s iGaming platform in Q1 2024, allowing the operator to supply more esports betting markets to its customers.

The expanded partnership “marks a significant step forward for Esports Entertainment as it will allow us to provide odds on traditional esports events, such as seasonal, big-name events, annual esports tournaments, as well as short-cycle wagerable events,” Igelman said.

Further to that agreement, EEG subsidiary ggCircuit has entered into a new partnership with Ghost Gaming and Skillshot Media, “to establish a first-of-its-kind Scholastic Esports Innovation Centre within the Ghost Gaming HQ lab.”

The centre will be “dedicated to pioneering research and co-developing cutting-edge technology tailored to the evolving needs of school esports programs,” Igelman said.

“Overall, we believe the company-wide initiatives we have undertaken this year will place us in a stronger financial position, and at the forefront of the rapidly growing esports wagering market which is poised to grow significantly by 2025. 

“Moreover, the addition of Oddin.gg’s iFrame supports the Company’s global expansion strategies, given Oddin’s established international presence. As a result, I could not be more excited by the outlook for our business,” Igelman concluded.

The majority of publicly listed gambling industry stocks made healthy gains throughout July.

A handful, however, did not fare so well, with Esports Entertainment Group (EEG), EBET and Tabcorp representing the month’s biggest losers.


Esports Entertainment Group

EEG stock opened at $1.19 on Monday 3 July, before a sustained drop-off in price saw shares hit $0.42 on the last day of the month.

Shares in the business have dropped dramatically since February 2022, after the business announced it had a little over $1m on its balance sheet alongside the release of its 2021 financial results.

“The company believes that its current level of cash and cash equivalents are not sufficient to fund its operations and obligations without additional financing,” it said at the time.

That revelation lit the fuse on a period of dramatic transformation within the business, culminating in the removal of CEO Grant Johnson in December 2022.

Johnson was subsequently replaced at the helm of EEG by industry veteran Alex Igelman in January 2023, while shares in the business continued to tumble.

The year began with shares trading for around $7, eventually hitting a peak of over $15 towards the end of January.

By March, however, shares were valued at under $3, and have continued on a sustained downward trajectory since then.

Throughout April and May, shares averaged around $2, and by the beginning of July were trading for as little as $1.19.

Around halfway through the month, shares fell below $1, and continued to drop before closing at $0.42 on 31 July.

Following the end of the month, shares have been trading for as little as $0.25 in August.

Per Nasdaq rules, if a company’s shares trade for 30 consecutive business days below a $1 minimum closing bid price requirement, Nasdaq will implement a 180-day compliance period during which shares must go back above $1 to comply with the exchange’s listing rules.

At the time of writing, EEG shares have been trading under $1 for around 16 consecutive business days.

EBET

July was also a tumultuous month for EBET, formerly known as Esports Technologies, an online gambling operator and B2B supplier of esports tech.

The year-to-date high of the company’s stock came in February, when shares briefly traded at $1.36.

Since then, however, Esports Technologies shares have seen a sustained decline which saw them open at $0.123 on 3 July, before tumbling a further 42% to $0.071 over the course of the month.

Having traded for well under Nasdaq’s minimum bid price of $1 for more than 30 business days in 2022, the company was previously granted a 180-day period by the exchange to regain compliance with the bid price rule.

In May, EBET was granted an additional 180-day period in which to regain compliance with the rule, lasting until 30 November 2023.

However, just last week on 31 July, EBET was notified by Nasdaq staff that because its shares had a closing bid price of less than $0.10 for 10 consecutive trading days, the company’s securities were set to be delisted from the Nasdaq Capital Market.

Therefore, unless EBET requests an appeal of Nasdaq’s determination, its common stock will be suspended at the opening of business tomorrow (9 August), and its listing and registration on Nasdaq will be removed.

EBET said last week it planned to submit a hearing request to Nasdaq’s Hearings Department, with a view to stopping the suspension of its common stock from the exchange.

Tabcorp

In slightly less dramatic fashion – and demonstrating how positive July’s performance was for the rest of the publicly listed gambling sector – ASX-listed Tabcorp was the month’s third biggest loser as its shares slipped some 6%.

After opening on 3 July at A$1.13, shares hovered between A$1.09 and A$1.14 throughout the month, before closing a little lower at A$1.06 on 31 July.

Still, the company’s shares have remained fairly consistent throughout 2023, after starting the year at A$1.11, in spite of a brief dip in March during which shares traded for under A$1.

Shares remain a long way from previously recorded highs of over A$1.40, but also comfortably ahead of their all-time low of around A$0.50.

The company is expected to release its financial year 2023 results on 24 August.

Esports Entertainment Group (EEG) has appointed Robert “Bobby” Soper, renowned casino executive and founder of Sun Gaming and Hospitality, to its board of directors.

Soper brings more than 20 years’ experience in the resort and gaming industry to the business, EEG said, having overseen the development of several projects from the ground up while leading the operations of integrated resorts across highly competitive markets.

Soper remains the CEO of Sun Gaming and Hospitality, a provider of advisory services to resort operators, investors, regulatory bodies, private equity funds, banks and developers across all areas of resort finance, development and operations.

Previously, Soper served as president and CEO of the Mohegan Sun Pocono casino resort in Pennsylvania, as well as president and CEO of Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.

In those roles, he was responsible for overseeing the launch of the first casino in Pennsylvania as well as the launch of Mohegan Sun’s online operations.

Soper also served as president and CEO of Mohegan Sun’s parent company, the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, where he oversaw business development and the company’s day-to-day operations.

“[Soper] brings an impressive track record and deep relationships across the industry that I believe will add tremendous value to our company as we execute on our strategic turnaround.” 

– Esports Entertainment Group CEO Alex Igelman

“I am honored to welcome Robert, a highly esteemed and widely renowned leader in the resort and gaming industries, to our board of directors,” commented Alex Igelman, CEO of Esports Entertainment Group. 

“He brings an impressive track record and deep relationships across the industry that I believe will add tremendous value to our company as we execute on our strategic turnaround. 

“His willingness to join our board illustrates his confidence in the company’s ongoing transformation, as well as our significant potential within the iGaming and esports sectors,” Igelman concluded.

In April, EEG revealed drastic cost-cutting measures set to take place under new CEO Igelman, who replaced Grant Johnson in the role earlier this year.

After taking over the lead role, Igelman suggested EEG could move itself into a dominant position within the emerging esports industry and drive long-term profitability following cost-cutting measures which included a reduced headcount and the paying down of outstanding debt.

Damian Mathews has rejoined Esports Entertainment Group (EEG) as chief operating officer after a six-month hiatus.

He previously held the position of CFO from April 2022, and was additionally appointed as COO in June 2022.

Although he resigned from those roles in December 2022, Mathews retained his board seat. He initially joined EEG’s board of directors in June 2020.

“I am delighted to announce that Damian Mathews has agreed to rejoin the senior management team as chief operating officer of Esports Entertainment Group,” said EEG CEO Alex Igelman.

“Despite his departure, he continued to serve as a dedicated member of the board where he felt he could have the greatest impact.

“In his prior, albeit short tenure as COO/CFO, he played an integral role in streamlining the company’s operations and advocating for critical changes within the organisation.

“Importantly, his decision to rejoin the team reflects his complete alignment with the new direction of the company and the promising future of the esports industry,” he concluded.

A new vision

In recent months, EEG has taken significant steps to address various financial challenges and poor performance in 2022.

CEO Igelman spearheaded a restructuring effort that involved a reduction of approximately 37% in headcount and the implementation of cost-cutting measures to improve operational efficiency.

In addition to the workforce reduction, Igelman conducted a thorough review of the company and developed a new corporate vision to guide its future direction.

Dramatic turnaround

Mathews said that since leaving his CFO/COO position, and in his ongoing role as a member of EEG’s board, he has “witnessed firsthand the dramatic turnaround, led by Alex, in just a few short months.”

“I could not be more confident in the new leadership and direction of the company and look forward to playing a key role in driving the financial and operational success of the company.

“The esports and iGaming industries are experiencing rapid growth and I truly believe Esports Entertainment Group is now ideally positioned with the right assets at the right time, with the right leadership and business model to establish a dominant position in this rapidly emerging market,” he concluded.

Mathews has over 25 years of experience in senior finance positions within investment management, banking and accounting.

His previous roles include COO for Auckland Real Estate, CFO of the Qatar and Abu Dhabi Investment Company, and various senior management positions at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia Group, the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, and Credit Suisse First Boston investment bank in London and the Bahamas.

Shares in Esports Entertainment Group (EEG) have surged after CEO Alex Igelman revealed the group cut around 37% of jobs and implemented several cost-cutting measures to enhance operational efficiency.

In a letter to shareholders, Igelman said that by streamlining the business, EEG can move into a dominant position within the high-growth esports industry and “drive long-term profitability”.

Esports Entertainment’s financial health has been under strain since the company announced a net loss of $63.6m for the first three months of 2022

Igelman has since carried out a company review and developed a corporate vision after he joined the business in January.

EEG CEO Alex Igelman: “I strongly believe that our achievements over a short three-month span are truly noteworthy. However, this is merely the starting point of our journey.”

As part of a restructuring exercise, Igelman revealed the company has reduced its headcount from 158 full-time employees at the end of 2022 to 99 full-time employees, inclusive of planned reductions.

Annualised salaries are expected to decline by approximately 36% based on the actions taken thus far.

Although the company incurred upfront costs related to the restructuring, these initiatives are expected to lower operating expenses by more than $4m on an annualised basis over time.

Debt reduction

Moreover, through various measures, including the sale of its Bethard business, the company has reduced debt and other liabilities by approximately $27.1m since the end of last year.

In March, the group also initiated the liquidation of Argyll Entertainment, an online gambling business in the UK with recurring losses.

“I strongly believe that our achievements over a short three-month span are truly noteworthy. However, this is merely the starting point of our journey,” he wrote.

He added that the company plans to have a renewed focus on esports wagering through new betting content and offerings via its MGA licence.

In the US market, the group wants to direct its attention toward aggregating and supplying B2B esports solutions and content for the esports and esports gambling industries.

“Esports Entertainment has extremely valuable and differentiated assets, which we believe will be key to the future of this industry,” he concluded.

Beleaguered betting operator Esports Entertainment Group (EEG) has appointed gambling industry lawyer and consultant Alex Igelman as its new CEO.

Igelman joins the business following the departure of former CEO and founder Grant Johnson, who was “disappointed” to be removed from the role by the firm’s board of directors in December.

With Johnson also having served as chairman of the board, that role has since been taken over by former Las Vegas mayor and Caesars Entertainment board member Jan Jones Blackhurst, who joined EEG as a board member back in May 2022.

Changes at the business follow an extremely difficult period throughout the duration of 2022.

In February, the firm announced it had reduced previously issued full-year revenue guidance by $30m, causing its share price to collapse from over $3 to under $1 between February and March.

Subsequent financial results and trading updates throughout the year saw EEG shares continue to slide as investors persisted in dumping the stock.

Incoming EEG CEO Alex Igelman: “The company is making significant strides to refine its focus on creating a valuable esports brand and is initially looking inward at some of its key assets to kickstart this process.”

Today, shares trade for less than $0.08 – an alarming figure for investors who saw EEG through its April 2020 listing on the Nasdaq, when shares traded for as much as $8.85.

At its current share price, the 2.5 million shares of common stock Igelman is set to receive on joining the business are worth around $192,500.

Igelman will also receive a further 2.5 million time-based stock options, which may not be sold or transferred for at least six months, and will vest in equal quarterly instalments over a one-year period subject to his continued employment with the company.

Igelman is a gambling industry lawyer and consultant with more than 25 years’ experience in the sector. He has worked in the online sector since the mid-1990s and has also spent several years in the esports industry.

The incoming CEO is also MD and founder of Esports Capital Corp (ECC), a boutique advisory firm in the esports gambling sector.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to join EEG at this important time in its journey and to work alongside someone as experienced and respected as the new chair, Jan Jones Blackhurst,” Igelman said.

EEG chair Jan Jones Blackhurst: “We are excited to have Alex join the senior leadership team. He brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and fresh perspective as we move the company forward.”

“The company is making significant strides to refine its focus on creating a valuable esports brand and is initially looking inward at some of its key assets to kickstart this process.

“The company also owns certain valuable assets and relationships in the esports sector and there is a substantial growing addressable domestic esports betting market for the company to take a leadership position in. 

“The company will continue to structure its operations and financial position to maximise value for shareholders. I look forward to bringing my experience into the leadership of the company and to focus on the execution of these transformative initiatives,” he added.

EEG chair Blackhurst commented: “We are excited to have Alex join the senior leadership team. He brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and fresh perspective as we move the company forward.”

Last month, EEG said it was considering an offer from an undisclosed third-party company to purchase its assets and intellectual property via a non-binding letter of intent.

Esports Entertainment Group (EEG) is set to drastically streamline its business model after posting a net loss of $63.6m during the first three months of 2022.

The faltering business reiterated “that certain factors raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern for at least one year,” after failing to maintain compliance with certain debt covenants relating to a senior convertible note.

In its evaluation of going concern, EEG said it has also considered its historical losses and negative cash flows from operations. As of 31 March 2022, the business had $59.2m in net current liabilities and just $9.4m of available cash on hand. As of 20 May, EEG’s available cash on hand dropped even further, to $5.6m.

Esports Entertainment Group: “The company believes that its current level of cash and cash equivalents are not sufficient to fund its operations and obligations without additional financing.”

“The company believes that its current level of cash and cash equivalents are not sufficient to fund its operations and obligations without additional financing,” EEG said in its latest SEC filing.

As a result, the company will make significant changes to its business model, which currently sees it operate seven distinct brands across the iGaming, sports betting and esports ecosystems.

“Given our lack of liquidity, we have been unable to fully monetise our esports assets – including Helix, ggCircuit and EGL” explained EEG CEO Grant Johnson.

“As a result, we are taking a $38.6m impairment charge in the quarter across these three businesses. We do not see a path to attractive profitability in the Helix business given its significant overhead and ongoing capex and are currently working to divest our two existing centres. GgCircuit and EGL are two assets which we have not effectively been able to monetise due to liquidity constraints.”

Johnson added that EEG is now in the final stages of “dramatically simplifying” its esports offering, focusing on providing SaaS-based technology under its ggCircuit brand as well as in-person esports tournaments under its EGL brands and its peer-to-peer wagering platform.

In addition to implementing this asset-light strategy, EEG said it is working to cut costs across the rest of its brand portfolio by reducing marketing spend, removing duplicated functions between brands and de-emphasising its non-core assets.

Johnson said the firm has also identified further avenues to increase cost savings, which it will continue to pursue in the coming months.

All that considered, EEG said it has set a goal to achieve break-even on an annualised basis by early fiscal 2023, although it has also reduced its full-year revenue expectations for 2021-22 from $70m-$75m to $55m-$60m.

Revenue for the latest quarter (Q3 in EEG’s 2021-22 financial year) came to $15.7m, a dramatic increase from the prior comparative period’s $5.4m, driven by EEG’s acquired brands including Argyll Entertainment, Lucky Dino and Bethard.

Costs also increased significantly, however, leading the business to post a $63.6m net loss for the quarter – up from a net loss of just $12.4m in the prior corresponding period.

Those figures bring EEG’s year-to-date revenue for the first three quarters of its financial year to $46.6m and its net loss total to $98.5m.

The company’s share price has taken a monumental fall over the past 12 months, from a 52-week high of $13.74 to just $0.44 at the time of writing.

Esports Entertainment Group has appointed board member and audit committee chairman Damian Mathews as its new chief financial officer, effective 2 April.

Mathews will replace current CFO Dan Marks in the role, following the revelation last month that the business is in financial dire straits.

Investors dumped stock in the Nasdaq-listed firm after its fiscal second quarter financial results saw 2022 revenue guidance slashed from around $100m to between $70m and $75m.

Crucially, reduced revenue during its fiscal second quarter left the business with just $1m on its balance sheet as of 31 December, 2021, although this figure did rise to $1.4m by mid-February.

Following the release, Marks said Q2 performance had pushed the company’s breakeven point back to the first calendar quarter of 2023, as the business continued to burn through more than $1m in cash each month.

EEG has now pinned its hopes on Mathews, who was previously CFO of the Qatar and Abu Dhabi Investment Company between 2014 and 2020, and director of his own consultancy NZ Pacific Investments from 2012 to 2014.

Mathews is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and previously held positions at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia Group, ABN Amro, Royal Bank of Scotland, Credit Suisse First Boston and KPMG.

“I am delighted to accept the appointment as EEG’s chief financial officer,” Mathews said. 

“The company has grown rapidly and has immense ambition in the exciting industry of esports. 2022 will be a pivotal and exciting time as we aim to continue to grab market share and develop and enhance our products to drive strong unit economics. 

“I believe the company’s product offerings are at the early stages of their growth cycles and well-positioned to capitalise on a sizeable market opportunity and evolving consumer behaviours. I look forward to helping Esports Entertainment Group in its efforts to further expand its market share in the coming year.”

EEG CEO Grant Johnson added: “Damian brings more than 25 years of global experience working across banking, private equity and real estate.

“Damian has been a valuable part of the company’s board since 2020 and we’re confident his expertise and leadership will make him a critical partner as we execute on our strategic and financial plan for this year and beyond.”

EEG’s share price crashed from $3.46 on 15 February to just $1.24 on 23 February. It has since continued on a steady decline, and was down a further 8.2% at close yesterday, to just $0.65.