Affiliate powerhouse Group is set to join the broad-market Russell 3000 Index later this month.

According to a preliminary list of additions posted by the FTSE Russell last week, the firm will be included on the index after the US market opens on 27 June, and its shares will also be automatically added to the appropriate growth and value indexes.

The Russell 3000 Index measures the performance of the largest 3,000 US-listed companies, representing around 97% of the investable US equity market. 

The index is intended to provide a comprehensive, unbiased and stable barometer of the broad US market, and is completely reconstituted every year to ensure new and growing equities are included.

The index is made up of the large-cap Russell 1000 Index, representing the 1,000 US companies with the largest market caps, and the small-cap Russell 2000 Index, which makes up the bottom two-thirds of the list.

Russell categorises businesses primarily by objective, market cap and style attributes. Group CEO Charles Gillespie: “After Group successfully completed its IPO last July, the inclusion of the group’s shares in the Russell Universe of Indexes is a great honour.”

Based on preliminary market cap ranges published by FTSE Russell last month, said it expects to be included in the Russell 3000, Russell 2000, Russell 2500, Russell Microcap – which includes a further 1,000 small-cap businesses – and the Russell 3000E, which combines the Russell Microcap and 3000 indexes.

“After Group successfully completed its IPO last July, the inclusion of the group’s shares in the Russell Universe of Indexes is a great honour,” said Charles Gillespie, CEO of Group. 

“Our participation in these indexes will bring the group – the first online gambling affiliate to be publicly traded in the United States – enhanced visibility within the American equity capital markets.

“The inclusion is an excellent milestone for the group, which we hope will help drive increased liquidity and investor awareness of our unique equity story,” he added. Group is on a rapid growth path in the US after its recent acquisitions of and helped North American revenue reach $10.6m in the first quarter of 2022.

This represented the first reporting period in which North American markets generated more than half of the group’s total revenue, and was a marked improvement from the prior-comparative period, when the region delivered just $1.7m for the firm.

“Our current primary strategic objective is to rapidly grow our business in the US market, which is exactly what we did in the quarter – while also delivering high margins despite the continuous investments in the business to position us for further US growth,” Gillespie said when the results were published.

When the stock market sneezes, the gaming industry catches a cold, as proven by falling share prices during the current period of heightened uncertainty.

With the S&P 500 down 3.7%, the Nasdaq 100 down 6.2% and the FTSE 100 Index down 5.3%, gaming stocks, which have already experienced significant volatility in recent months, have tumbled even further.

Uncertainty driven by increases in the price of crude oil and natural gas – a result of international sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine – have caused a downturn in stock markets around the world.

Oil prices hit their highest levels since 2008 this week, and fears around rapidly rising inflation in the cost of living have combined to send share prices through the floor.

The gaming industry, which had already been suffering from high levels of volatility since last year, as well as an unusual operating environment due to Covid-19, has seen prices slide further than many other industries as growth stocks appear to have become a bear market for now. 

Evolution shares are trading 11.0% lower in the past week, with major operators like Entain down 10.6% and Flutter Entertainment falling by 13.8%. Shares in Scientific Games have crashed by 14.5%, while shares in Nasdaq-listed DraftKings – which were already in freefall – plummeted by another 16.8%.

It is not just the gambling sector suffering, either. Stock market behemoths like Meta, Google and Apple are down 10.9%, 6.2% and 3.3% respectively over the past five days.

While many investors will see their portfolios run red due to the downturn, others will strike while the iron is hot and see this as an opportunity to purchase cut-price stocks.

Yesterday, the ARK Invest exchange-traded fund (ETF), managed by longtime fintech investor Cathie Wood, made a swathe of trades. It offloaded more than 368,000 shares in Twitter but, interestingly, bought up 279,441 DraftKings shares.


— arkinvesttracker (@arkinvtracker) March 8, 2022

ARK has been bullish on the stock for a while and appears to be predicting an upturn in the company’s value after a steady share price decline over the last several months, from a 52-week high of $74.06, to just $18.05 as of yesterday.

Pre-market trading suggests the stock may have bottomed out, with the price up 1.2% from yesterday’s close at $18.26.