Swintt, the sought-after software developer behind next generation hits ELECTRIC ELEMENTS and CANDY GOLD as well as classic fan favourites like SEVEN SEVEN POTS and PEARLS and EXTRA WIN X, has announced it will now join forces with iconic firm, Light & Wonder, to distribute its slots globally.

Although perhaps best known for its popular land-based slot franchises like the world-renowned DANCING DRUMS™ and RAINBOW RICHES™ series, Light & Wonder has very efficiently gone about setting itself up as one of the leading suppliers of iGaming solutions through the power of its aggregation platform.

With this innovative system connecting players, studios and operators in a single integration, the Light & Wonder game aggregation portfolio currently includes 4,000+ titles from over 60 studios, with this extensive line-up now set to be boosted by the presence of SwinttGames and SwinttPremium releases.

Dealing with the two categories in order, SwinttGames offer the very latest in graphics and sound and are known across the industry for their innovative and often ground-breaking bonus features. Among the Xtra series titles that will soon be available via Light & Wonder, all players on platforms supplied by the Light & Wonder’s aggregation platform will be able to enjoy the new JADE BLADE XTRASPLITTM and Swintt’s most successful slot to date in the tiki-themed ALOHA SPIRIT XTRALOCKTM.

Not only that, but they’ll also be able to join a British film and football icon for the adventure of a lifetime in The Crown starring Vinnie Jones.

Fans of classic games, meanwhile, will also be well-catered for courtesy of the SwinttPremium range. With these games all combining the iconic graphics and sounds of the sort of land-based slots that Light & Wonder have specialised in over the years, players can soon look forward to trying out Extra Win X, Cleopatras Pearls and the brand-new Seven Seven Pots and Pearls with its four linked jackpots.

With all of this and more soon available to all operators on the Light & Wonder platform, Swintt will look to leverage the deal with Light & Wonder to ensure their games are available in regulated markets worldwide and will soon also be accessible in the Italian market for the first time.

Lars Kollind, head of business development at Swintt, said: “While Swintt is always on the lookout for advantageous partnership deals, there can be no denying this latest collaboration with Light & Wonder is significant given the standing of the brand and its extensive reach in regulated markets worldwide.

“By joining forces with them, we’ll be able to ensure both SwinttGames and SwinttPremium releases are available to all operators who use Light & Wonder’s aggregation platform for their game aggregation needs, allowing us to further strengthen our digital presence globally while also preparing us to enter the Italian market for the first time – an exciting development that we’re very much looking forward to!”

James Bustin, commercial director at Light & Wonder, said: “With 4,000+ top titles from over 60 sought-after software providers in the iGaming industry, Light & Wonder’s aggregation platform has everything operators need to supply the ultimate entertainment experience in just one integration.

“We’re always looking to make our offering even better and teaming up with Swintt will enable us to do precisely that. With their innovative catalogue of SwinttGames as well as more traditional SwinttPremium releases, the studio has something for everyone and we’re sure they’ll prove a popular addition.”

Light & Wonder (L&W) is set to pursue a secondary listing of its shares on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) following revenue growth across all business segments in Q1 2023.

Topline numbers

Revenue increased 17.1% to $670m in Q1 2023, following growth in all three of L&W’s core business areas.

The (land-based) Gaming segment generated $419m of the total, up 18%, as the business saw continued strength in sales of gaming machines as well as strong performance in gaming operations and systems.

Social gaming-focused SciPlay generated a further $186m, up 17.7%, while the company’s iGaming segment saw 10.2% growth to $65m.

Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter came to $249m, up 23.3%, while the business generated net income of $27m, compared to a $67m net loss in Q1 2022.

L&W said the turnaround from net loss to profit was primarily due to the increase in revenue and operating income alongside lower interest expense compared to the prior-year period.

News nugget

As first reported in March, the company is set to pursue a secondary listing of its stock on the ASX in addition to its primary listing on Nasdaq.

The listing is expected to take place by the end of Q2 this year.

That development was approved by the L&W’s board of directors during Q1, which said it believes there are substantial benefits for the company and its shareholders in pursuing a secondary listing.

Those benefits include enhancing L&W’s profile in Australia, one of the core markets of its Gaming business segment, as well as providing access to new, long-term Australian institutional investors that would complement its existing base of shareholders in the US and Australia.

“The ASX is a premium market with a long track record as a platform for global gaming companies, and a deep and liquid pool of investors and market participants who understand the gaming business,” said president and CEO Matt Wilson on the firm’s Q1 earnings call.

“We believe this secondary listing will stimulate demand for our shares by providing accessibility to institutional investors who are unable to invest offshore, as well as increasing analyst coverage and expanding retail ownership,” he added.

Best quote

“In terms of live casino, we announced last week our first launch partner with Rush Street Interactive. [We are] thrilled to announce today on the call that DraftKings have also signed on, as well as Golden Nugget.”

L&W CEO Matt Wilson on confirmed partners for the company’s upcoming US live casino launch

Best question

Barry Jonas of Truist asked management to elaborate further on the rationale behind L&W’s upcoming secondary listing in Australia, as well as enquiring as to how liquid and active the listing is expected to be.

In response, Wilson said: “Australia has an investor base that has a deep understanding of the gaming industry. They’ve had a lot of success in investing in Australian companies over the years. 

“And over the last few years, for us, we’ve had a lot of inbound from investors in Australia who have Aussie mandates that can’t invest offshore – they want to participate in the story.”

CFO James added that some existing shareholders are expected to transmit their shares from Nasdaq to the ASX following the listing, meaning that “on day one we’ll have a respectable number of shares with more to come.”

James also added that the business sees inclusion in the ASX 300 and ASX 200 Indexes as an “achievable outcome,” given the cutoffs for each are at around 6% and 15% of L&W’s market cap, respectively. The business also has “a number of levers to pull to get there,” she added.

Current trading and outlook

As of the end of the quarter, L&W held cash and cash equivalents of $931m, in addition to total debt of $3.89bn.

Q2 2023 will be impacted by a final divestiture tax payment totalling $32m, related to the sell-offs of L&W’s lottery and sports betting divisions which took place last year.

CFO James said: “We will continue to invest in the business throughout the year, bolstering our product portfolio with content and our live casino offering to drive sustainable growth going forward. 

“With our leading OGS platform, proven content, regionalised roadmap and expected live casino launch, we are well-positioned to capture growth and scale our offering to enhance the bottom line.”

Each month, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming (EKG) releases its US-focused Online Game Performance Report alongside Fantini Research.

Gathering data directly from operators across 30 websites, the report provides an in-depth recap of US online casino and iGaming performance.

Below are some of the latest standout market figures, through to March 2023, presented in partnership with iGaming NEXT.

Top US iGaming suppliers by GGR

The biggest mover this month came in the form of Digital Gaming Corporation, which managed to improve its position from sixth, with 5.6% of tracked GGR last month, to fifth place with 8.1% of GGR this month.

Operators’ proprietary ‘internal’ games, meanwhile, slipped from fourth place with 7.8% of GGR to sixth, with 7.2%.

The three podium positions remained unchanged, with Evolution, IGT and Light & Wonder (L&W) continuing to dominate the leaderboards.

Evolution’s total share of GGR slipped from 24.6% to 24.1%, however, while IGT’s share fell from 17.9% to 16.7%. L&W’s share of GGR dropped from 17.2% to 16.2%.

Still, the slots specialist formerly known as Scientific Games continued to dominate in the slots vertical, with its 18.9% share of GGR from those games making it the largest single slots supplier in the market this month, despite its share dropping from 20.8% last month.

IGT continued to dominate in the table games category with 30.3% of GGR (down marginally from 30.4%), although Evolution and L&W showed signs of catching up, as they improved their share of table game GGR from 22% to 22.8% (Evolution) and from 12.7% to 13.3% (L&W).

Other significant moves included Everi, which rose up from fifth place to fourth as its share of overall GGR rose from 7.4% to 8.3%, and High 5 Games, which improved from ninth place to seventh as its share grew from 2.2% to 2.5%.

Top game titles by GGR

The list of top performing games by GGR was truly shaken up this month, as Digital Gaming Corporation’s Gold Blitz slot stormed onto the list at number one, accounting for 2.13% of all GGR included in the report.

That meant the dominance of IGT’s Blackjack was finally undermined after spending several consecutive months at the top spot.

Indeed, the table game slipped from first position with 2.15% of GGR last month to third, with 1.85%.

Evolution’s Live Dealer Roulette held onto second position for another month, though its share of overall GGR slipped from 2.13% to 1.98%.

L&W’s 88 Fortunes slot was pushed from third place to fourth, as its share of GGR slipped from 1.76% to 1.61%, while IGT’s Cash Eruption fell from fourth place to fifth, despite actually increasing its share of GGR from 1.42% to 1.58%.

IGT’s Cleopatra, meanwhile, fell several places on the leaderboard from fifth place to eighth, despite just a modest decrease in its share of overall GGR from 1.36% to 1.28%.

Evolution’s own version of Blackjack slipped by one place from sixth to seventh, despite increasing its share of GGR from 1.16% to 1.29%.

The live casino specialist’s First Person Craps, meanwhile, was nowhere to be seen in this month’s top 25, despite having sat in seventh place last month with 1.13% of GGR.

Evolution’s Live Dealer Blackjack also appeared to have a tough month, as it fell from eighth place with 1.12% of GGR to 14th, with 0.97%.

The supplier’s ever popular Lightning Roulette saw its share of GGR improve from 0.96% to 1.04%, however it still slipped from 11th place to 14th as a result of changes higher up the leaderboard.

Together, the 25 best performing games in the market accounted for 27.14% of all GGR. Of the top 25, nine came from Evolution, five from IGT, four from L&W, two each from Everi, Reel Play and Digital Gaming Corporation, and one from AGS.

GGR by supplier and game type

This chart helps to break down the product mix of the leading iGaming suppliers in the US.

IGT and Evolution appear to have the broadest combination of different product types in their wheelhouse, with each holding a podium position in three separate categories.

In the latest report, Evolution boasted 16.7% of slot GGR, 22.8% of table game GGR and 100% of all the live casino GGR analysed in the report.

IGT, meanwhile, dominated the table games and video poker categories, with 30.3% and 90.9% of GGR, respectively, while holding onto a significant 15.2% of slot GGR.

L&W showed its reliance on the slots vertical, with 18.9% of GGR in that category, however it also accounted for a not insignificant 13.3% of table games revenue.

Once again, the chart shows where operators’ proprietary ‘internal’ games are being allowed to flourish, as the category accounted for 29.5% of table game GGR, making it the only significant challenger to the dominance of the Big Three in that area.

Internal games also made up 5.2% of GGR in the slots category, while operators’ own video poker games represented 6% of all video poker GGR. 

Another stand-out supplier within its own niche is Design Works’ Gaming, whose dominance in the instant win category saw it account for over 83% of GGR there.

Proportion of the market included in the report

Eilers & Krejcik includes a vast quantity of data in its reports, covering some 59% of the US iGaming market and now tracking almost 44,000 separate game titles every month across 30 online casino sites.

The growth in the number of games tracked by the firm, as well as the number of online casinos available to US consumers – from just a handful in recent years to more than 40 today – demonstrate the growth of regulated online casino products across the US.

With legalised iGaming available in just a few states, however, the data included in this report shows the beginning of the vertical’s growth trajectory, which will be further driven by the introduction of new legislation and regulation across additional US states in the months and years to come. 

For a month-on-month comparison, you can read the March Online Game Report write-up here.

If you are interested in learning more, subscribing, or participating in the Eilers-Fantini Online Game Performance Database, reach out to Rick Eckert at reckert@ekgamingllc.com.

Light & Wonder (L&W) is evaluating a potential secondary listing of its shares on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

This would be in addition to the company’s existing primary Nasdaq listing in the US.

The move is part of the supplier’s efforts to enhance overall shareholder value and accelerate its strategic journey as a global leader, it said.

As part of the evaluation, the company will be consulting with its shareholders, it added.

L&W said its board of directors has considered a range of options and sees substantial potential benefits for the company and its shareholders in pursuing a secondary listing on the ASX.

Those benefits include enhancing the firm’s profile in Australia, one of the leading markets for its gaming business, and giving the company access to new long-term Australian institutional investors.

L&W executive chair Jamie Odell: “The ASX is a premium market with a long track record as a platform for global gaming companies and a deep and liquid pool of sophisticated investors and market participants who have a strong understanding of the gaming business.”

Jamie Odell, executive chair of L&W’s board of directors, commented: “The ASX is a premium market with a long track record as a platform for global gaming companies and a deep and liquid pool of sophisticated investors and market participants who have a strong understanding of the gaming business.

“We believe they will appreciate the value and long-term potential of L&W’s broad international business and strategy.

“We look forward to engaging with the market and our current shareholders on a potential secondary listing,” he added.

L&W intends to update the market only once its evaluation is complete and it has made a decision whether to proceed with an ASX secondary listing.

However, the company said there is no guarantee that it will decide to go ahead with the plans.

Not the first time

The potential secondary listing on the ASX would be a significant move for Light & Wonder as it seeks to expand its presence globally as a leading provider of cross-platform games and entertainment.

In Q4 2022, L&W reported double-digit growth across all lines of business, with an 18% year-on-year increase in revenue to $682m.

L&W has previously considered a potential secondary listing on the ASX.

The company, which was then operating as Scientific Games, engaged Australian investment bank Jarden Australia to evaluate the option almost two years ago.

Later, the company announced that it was contemplating an IPO for its SG Lottery unit in Australia.

That plan didn’t materialise, however, as L&W instead sold the lottery business, which is still known as Scientific Games, to private equity firm Brookfield.

Australian ties

The Las Vegas-headquartered supplier has significant connections to Australia.

Executive chair Odell is a highly respected gaming executive from Australia, and L&W’s president and CEO Matt Wilson is also Australian. Both used to work at rival supplier Aristocrat.

Odell was the CEO of Aristocrat Technologies from 2009 to 2017, while Wilson served as president and managing director of the Americas at Aristocrat before joining L&W in 2020.

Furthermore, L&W’s existing shareholder base in Australia includes one of its largest shareholders, Caledonia Investments, which currently holds 8.86% of shares in the business.

Light & Wonder has hailed its strategic transformation and revealed plans to double down on cross-platform content development to capitalise on future growth opportunities.

Topline numbers

Light & Wonder (L&W) has reported double-digit growth across all lines of business. In Q4 2022, the supplier saw an 18% year-on-year revenue increase to $682m.

Breaking down revenue growth by business segment, both L&W’s land-based Gaming segment and its mobile-focused subsidiary SciPlay posted growth of 18%, while iGaming registered 15% growth year-on-year.

Moreover, AEBITDA grew 23% and reached $265m in Q4 at a margin of 39%.

For the full year 2022, revenue increased 17% to $2.5bn.

Growth was primarily driven by a 21% revenue rise in land-based Gaming, which remained the supplier’s largest earner, bringing in $1.6bn.

SciPlay revenue grew 11% annually to $671m, a new quarterly record for the segment, while iGaming revenue rose 6% to $240m.

AEBITDA climbed by 15% to $913m on a margin of 36%.

L&W’s quoted figures show comparative earnings from continuing operations, excluding the OpenBet business and the lotteries division as both were divested during 2022.

The supplier also maintained its net debt leverage ratio of 3.3x, which therefore remained within its target range of 2.5x to 3.5x.

News nugget

L&W has completed its strategic transformation, which has resulted in a streamlined organisation.

Going forward, L&W plans to double down on its cross-platform approach to content development to drive greater synergies between its business segments.

As part of this strategy, the company looks to launch two of its top-performing land-based titles digitally every month, CEO Matt Willson said.

Moreover, L&W will release additional games from the studios it has acquired. The supplier aims to launch a total of eight key game themes across all three platforms throughout 2023.

In addition, L&W’s live casino studio in Michigan has received provisional licensing approval, paving the way for the company to bring its offering to market.

This segment is a crucial driver of long-term growth in the iGaming industry, representing up to 30% of the total addressable market (TAM).

L&W is confident it can compete and win in this space, Willson said, despite intense competition from the likes of Evolution and Playtech.

“We are entering 2023 with incredible momentum thanks to our successful fourth quarter and with a clear strategy in place to future growth,” Willson said.

“We know that the digitalisation of gaming is only going to continue with new jurisdictions poised to come online in 2023 and beyond.

“Light & Wonder is strategically positioned to capitalise on those growth opportunities that come with it,” he concluded.

Best quote

L&W CFO Connie James: “We returned significant capital to our shareholders, totalling $413m since our share repurchase programme was announced a year ago. We now have a strong balance sheet and clear roadmap to advance with discipline on our balanced and opportunistic capital allocation strategy.”

Best question

Analyst Barry Jonas from Truist Financial enquired about L&W’s $1.4bn AEBITDA target for 2025, highlighting that other firms in the industry had revealed more conservative targets given current macroeconomic uncertainties.

Willson commented that L&W is currently seeing positive results in all key performance indicators across its markets, which gave it reason to be optimistic.

“We’re not delusional,” he added, however.

He went on to suggest that 10 different economists would give 10 different interpretations of the macro-economic outlook, including the likelihood and severity of an impending recession.

“We’ve planned for all 10 of those scenarios and many more, and we know what levers to pull should the macro-conditions hit the sectors that we operate in. But at the moment, we’re proving to be very resilient as an industry,” he said.

Current trading & outlook

L&W stated that the Q4 2022 results serve as evidence that the strategy is effective, which has given the company confidence to reach its target of $1.4bn in AEBITDA by 2025.

Light & Wonder has completed the previously announced divestiture of its sports betting business to Endeavor, the two companies announced Friday.

The deal for OpenBet, Light & Wonder’s former sports betting division, was completed for total gross proceeds of roughly $800m, per press releases from the two companies. The price included $750m in cash and just over 2.3m shares of Class A common stock of Endeavor.

Light & Wonder’s finalized sale of its sports betting division is the final step as the company reorganizes itself to focus on online casino gaming. Along with OpenBet, the former Scientific Games has also divested its lottery division.

“With the completion of the OpenBet divestiture and our now streamlined organization, Light & Wonder is well positioned to execute on our growth strategy with a singular focus on building great games fully cross-platform,” said Matt Wilson, interim Chief Executive Officer of Light & Wonder, in a statement. “With our R&D engine and world-class talent at our core, we have an unparalleled ability to leverage our leading industry positions, evergreen franchises and unmatched platforms to drive sustainable differentiation and significant value.”

Light & Wonder announced the reorganization plans in June 2021. The sale positions OpenBet to build on its “exceptional track record of innovation as part of Endeavor,” per company release.

“The addition of OpenBet to our sports betting portfolio will enable us to further capitalize on the massive tailwinds in the fast-evolving sports betting ecosystem and lead the way in defining the future of sports betting entertainment,” said Endeavor CEO Ariel Emanuel in a statement. “In combination with our IMG ARENA sports data and content business, we’ll look to create and unlock meaningful value for our rights holder and sportsbook customers, helping deliver the most compelling offerings for sports fans globally.”

Light and Wonder has completed the previously announced sale of its sports betting business, OpenBet, to Endeavor, per $LNW and $EDR release earlier today

— Ryan Butler (@ButlerBets) September 30, 2022

OpenBet works exclusively with licensed customers and regulated global gaming markets. This includes leading US and international sportsbooks such as DraftKings, FanDuel, SkyBet, Ladbrokes and William Hill, per Endeavor press release.

OpenBet focuses on betting engine technology, processing billions of bets annually. The platform also features trading, pricing and risk management tool, player account and wallet solutions, front-end UX and UI as well as content offerings such as BetBuilder, DonBest pricing feeds and an industry-first sports content aggregation platform.

IMG ARENA works with nearly 500 sportsbook brands, leagues and federations worldwide to deliver its official FastPath live streaming video and data feeds for more than 45,000 sports events annually. Endeavor said in Friday’s announcement it will bring OpenBet and IMG Arena together to form a new operating segment within the company beginning next year.

Light & Wonder’s sports betting spinoff comes as more tech providers are creating sportsbooks in the growing US market. Along with Endeavor, other major global and US companies such as Elys, Kambi and IGT are among the gaming tech providers that have partnered with US commercial casinos and/or Native American tribes to launch branded online sportsbooks.

There are roughly 50 US sports betting brands live in at least one American jurisdiction. Though many major operators such as DraftKings and Penn Entertainment have begun transitioning to in-house tech, third-party operators are still a significant component of many US sportsbooks.

For Light & Wonder, the divestiture of online sports betting allows the company to focus on the more lucrative iCasino market. Only a handful of states have legal online casino gaming, but stakeholders are hopeful more states will soon legalize these more high-margin offerings.