Genius Sports Limited today announced an expanded agreement with FanDuel Group to deliver its transformative BetVision streaming solution.

FanDuel, America’s #1 sportsbook will unveil BetVision as part of its premium NFL offering through Genius Sports.

As the exclusive distributor of NFL Official League Data, Genius Sports will continue to provide FanDuel with access to the league’s proprietary Next Gen Stats (“NGS”) data as well as the official sports betting data feed.

BetVision will allow FanDuel customers on mobile and tablet devices to take their live NFL viewing experience to the next level in the FanDuel sportsbook app.

By incorporating BetVision into the FanDuel Sportsbook, fans will be able to watch select NFL games inside the app featuring live stat tracking used by some of North America’s largest broadcast and streaming partners.

In the future, this partnership will give FanDuel the opportunity to integrate BetVision’s other key features including integrated betting odds, in-game betting alerts alongside data-driven augmentations and the ability to place live bets within the video player.

Since launching in September, BetVision has been shown to increase in-game wagers, customer engagement and drive retention while providing sportsbook customers with unique personalization options.

“As an Official Sports Betting Partner of the National Football League, we’re continuing to look for ways to elevate the betting experience on our platform for fans during every game,” said Mike Raffensperger, chief commercial officer, FanDuel.

“Partnering with Genius will allow us to pair our industry-leading product with access to BetVision to build a seamless live betting experience for fans.”

“In partnership with FanDuel, we are proud to lead a new era of sports betting experiences across North America,” said Mark Locke, CEO of Genius Sports.

“With heightened demand for greater personalization and interactivity, BetVision revolutionizes the live betting experience for FanDuel’s customers by helping to drive fan engagement and accelerate the growth of in-game betting.”

Genius Sports Limited (“Genius Sports”) (NYSE:GENI) has unveiled BetVision, the world’s first immersive sports wagering experience that brings live streams together with integrated bet slips, statistical insights, and real-time augmentations within a single interactive player. Genius Sports is launching BetVision with NFL live games in the U.S.

For the first time ever, BetVision will allow sportsbook customers to place wagers from within the live video player in the sportsbook app. These low latency live game video streams feature integrated betting odds and betslips and will be enhanced by in-game betting alerts and on-screen offers during breaks in game action to increase relevance, drive engagement and retain customers.

NFL content is available on mobile and tablet devices and will include live augmentations such as data-driven insights, graphic overlays and visualizations already in use with a range of broadcast and streaming partners across North America. BetVision is a uniquely personalized product that allows users to toggle on and off content and stats to create a tailored viewing experience based on their individual preferences.

In the initial launch, U.S. sports betting operators Caesars Sportsbook and Fanatics Sportsbook are the first to be live with the product. Each operator will stream nationally distributed and local, regionalized live NFL games each week. Over the course of the 2023 NFL season, additional features and functionality will be added.

Genius Sports is the NFL’s exclusive distributor of real-time, official play-by-play statistics, proprietary Next Gen Stats (“NGS”) data and the NFL’s official sports betting data feed to media companies and sports betting operators globally as well as low latency live game video streams.

“We’re very pleased to be Genius’ first BetVision content partner as they continue to be on the cutting edge of sports betting experiences,” said Brent Lawton, VP business development & strategic investments of the NFL. “BetVision allows us to create a differentiated way for fans to engage with NFL content.”

“BetVision is leading a new era of immersive sports experiences,” said Mark Locke, CEO of Genius Sports. “The launch brings together our capabilities across data tracking, video streaming, live data and sports wagering to create a game-changing product for sportsbooks.

“Sports fans and bettors alike increasingly demand personalized interaction, greater customization and deeper insights combined with an ability to strike a bet seamlessly. BetVision alone offers precisely that, while giving sportsbooks a new way to drive engagement and accelerate the growth of in-game betting.”

After the conclusion of the first week of the 2023 NFL season, Kambi has revealed data around betting activity on the event, presented in partnership with iGaming NEXT.

The 2023 season began on 7 September and will end on 7 January 2024. Week one of this year’s tournament saw 16 games take place across the US.

Kambi said it had significantly improved its selection of live player props and live same game parlay (SGP) capabilities ahead of the new season, helping boost the amount of SGPs as a proportion of live bets to 9%, and the proportion of player props to 14%, in the tournament’s first week.

Most popular games by turnover

Kambi has ranked the first week’s most popular games, teams and players by the amount of betting turnover generated on each.

The most popular game by betting turnover was between 2022 Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs and the Detroit Lions on 8 September, which saw the Lions edge a surprise victory by 21-20.

Second most popular was the New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills on 12 September, which saw the two New York State-based teams battle it out in a match that eventually saw the Jets emerge victorious at 22-16.

Third was the New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys match on 11 September, in which the Cowboys destroyed the Giants 40-0 in what has since been described as a “horrible loss” for the team, “among the worst season openers in NFL history”.

Last year’s Super Bowl finalists the Philadelphia Eagles took on the New England Patriots on 10 September, in the fourth most popular game by betting turnover, which the Eagles won 25-20.

Fifth was the Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers, also on 10 September, in which the Packers emerged victorious at 38-20.

Most popular players and teams

The most popular player by betting turnover was Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who has played for the team since 2017. 

Mahomes has twice been named the NFL MVP and was also the Super Bowl MVP in last year’s final.

The second most popular player by turnover was Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco, followed by 21-year old Detroit Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs in third.

The fourth and fifth most popular players by turnover were Lions quarterback Jared Goff and Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard, respectively.

The five most popular teams by betting turnover were the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys, in that order.

Most popular bet types 

In terms of pre-game bets, the most popular bet type after moneyline, spread and total points were touchdown scorer bets, which attracted some 16% of pre-match turnover.

In second and third places, bets on the total receiving yards by the player and total rushing yards by the player attracted 12% and 11% of pre-match turnover, respectively.

Spread bets on the first half were the fourth most popular bet type, attracting 9% of pre-match turnover, with bets on total passing yards by the player attracting 6% of turnover in fifth place.

As for live betting, the most popular bet type after moneyline, spread and total points bets were on the team to gain a first touchdown, which attracted 13% of all in-play turnover.

Bets on quarter spread and first half spread each attracted 8% of live turnover in second and third place.

In fourth and fifth, bets on the result of team drives and quarter total points each attracted 7% of live turnover.

Regarding individual player props, the most popular bets in that category were on touchdown scorer, which attracted 24% of all player props revenue.

Bets on the total receiving yards by the player and total rushing yards by the player attracted 19% and 17% of player props revenue, respectively.

In at fourth and fifth were bets on total passing yards by the player and total receptions by the player, which attracted 10% and 6% of player props revenue, respectively.

Bet builders

The most popular bet builder selections, both pre-match and live, featured combinations of spreads, total points, touchdown scorers, moneylines, and total rushing or receiving yards by the player.

Other popular bet builder elements included total passing yards by the player, total touchdown passes thrown by the player, total receptions by the player, and bets on points and spreads in the second half of games.

BetMGM has kicked off the new NFL football season by adding a wide array of features to its sports betting app.

New for the 2023-24 campaign, bettors will have the option to enter a free-to-play $100,000 survivor pool where they must choose one NFL team to win each week.

Once a winning team is selected, they cannot be picked again for the remainder of the season, until the last person standing wins the six-figure jackpot.

“We developed our state-of-the-art sports betting platform to feature a variety of ways sports fans can engage,” said BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt.

“The next generation of the BetMGM app is a giant step forward in the sports betting experience, increasing the level of entertainment before, during and after games,” he added.

Another free-to-play feature sees the return of 8-Bit Barry as BetMGM celebrity ambassador Barry Sanders stars in a retro arcade-style football video game.

The BetMGM sportsbook has also added cross-state functionality for customers who travel across multiple states during the NFL season.

“The next generation of the BetMGM app is a giant step forward in the sports betting experience, increasing the level of entertainment before, during and after games.”
BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt

This means that log-in and cash balance details will be seamless across most markets where BetMGM is live, except for Nevada, Puerto Rico, and Ontario.

Arguably the most notable upgrade from an investor point of view is the launch of Same-Game Parlay+. This high-margin product will allow bettors to combine two different same-game parlays into one big bet with increased odds.

Finally, BetMGM is offering an exclusive hometown odds boost on teams it has a commercial partnership with.

This means fans of the Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, New York Jets and Tennessee Titans can claim a token for a 50% boost on live odds.

The operator has also ramped up its customer acquisition offers to coincide with the new season. First-time players can place up to $1,500 on their first bet and have it paid back in bonus bets if it loses, or wager $10 on any football game to receive $200 in bonus bets.

The 2023-24 NFL season began on Friday 8 September as The Detroit Lions overturned a six-point deficit to defeat Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 21-20.

BetMGM currently operates a mobile or retail sportsbook in 26 markets.

MGM Resorts International and BetMGM are launching a new responsible gambling campaign across nine NFL stadiums in the US.

Stadium integration

The campaign will see the casino operator and its online joint venture with Entain promote the GameSense responsible gambling programme at the home stadiums of several major NFL teams including the Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos and New York Jets.

MGM said it is therefore among the first US operators to promote responsible gambling through marketing within NFL venues.

The campaign will take place during the upcoming American football season, which is due to begin next week on 8 September.

In addition, MGM Resorts and BetMGM are together committing more than $1m annually to fund a variety of responsible gambling and problem gambling initiatives, including in the areas of research, advocacy, prevention, marketing and organisational support.

GameSense background

The GameSense responsible gambling programme was first developed and licensed to MGM Resorts by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation in 2017.

The programme “focuses on positive, transparent, and proactive conversations with guests and customers about how to gamble responsibly,” MGM said.

GameSense messaging is currently being delivered to guests on TV screens in MGM Resorts hotel rooms across the US, as well as on slot machines on MGM casino floors.

The programme is also integrated into BetMGM’s online platforms and sports betting kiosks.

Management commentary

“This is an extraordinary moment as we work with our team partners to raise awareness about responsible gaming,” said BetMGM chief compliance officer Rhea Loney.

“Throughout the season, GameSense will play a pivotal role in reminding football fans who bet, to do so responsibly.”

Stephen Martino, SVP and chief compliance officer of MGM Resorts, added: “The landscape of the gaming industry has evolved dramatically in recent years with the broad legalisation of online gambling and sports betting. 

“Collaboration among operators and stakeholders is essential to ensure that responsible gaming remains a top priority.

“These efforts are vital to giving guests, customers, employees, and companies the tools and information needed for a safe and enjoyable experience.”

American Gaming Association SVP Casey Clarke added: “The AGA is proud to work alongside leaders like MGM Resorts and BetMGM to advance responsible gaming every day. 

“Their continued investment to elevate responsibility exemplifies the industry’s commitments and the spirit of Responsible Gaming Education Month.”

Today, Aristocrat Gaming™ began distribution of the highly-anticipated NFL Super Bowl Jackpots™ to casino floors across the country.

No matter where casino players choose to play, they can select their favorite team from the 32 clubs. Timed to the start of the season, the distribution of games marks the first time the public will be able to play the NFL-themed slot machines.

NFL Super Bowl Jackpots™, the first in a series of new games, will initially be distributed in select casino locations in Nevada, California, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Arizona.

“After nearly two years of collaboration with the NFL and NFL Players Association, we finally get to see these game-changing machines in action,” said Hector Fernandez, CEO of Aristocrat Gaming.

“A tremendous thank you to our teams around the world for their collective brilliance to make today possible.

Aristocrat Gaming is committed to responsible gameplay, with a comprehensive company program focused on strong compliance, empowering customers and casino players, and investing in innovation to help lift the bar.

Genius Sports revenue totalled $86.9m in Q2 2023, ahead of previously issued guidance of $80m, and 22.1% ahead of the $71.1m generated in Q2 2022.

Revenue breakdown

Of the total revenue, the lion’s share came from the firm’s Betting Technology, Content and Services division, which generated $56.9m, up 26.8% year-on-year.

That growth was driven by “increased customer utilisation of available event content and growth in business with existing customers,” Genius said.

The Media Technology, Content and Services division, meanwhile, generated $18.4m in revenue, up 22.4% year-on-year.

There, growth was driven by increased business in the Americas region, particularly in the area of programmatic advertising services.

The Sports Technology & Services segment saw significantly slower growth than Genius’ other business segments, as it generated revenue of $11.6m, up 3% year-on-year.

That modest growth was attributed primarily to higher revenues from non-cash consideration contracts.

EBITDA and net loss

Following the significant revenue growth, the business declared adjusted EBITDA of $15.7m, up 87.2% on the prior-year period. That figure was also well ahead of previously issued guidance of $14m.

Genius boasted an adjusted EBITDA margin of 18% in Q2 2023, up from 11.8% in Q2 2022.

Still, the business posted an overall net loss of $10.3m for the quarter, compared to a $4.8m net loss in Q2 2022.

The year-on-year increase in net loss required some further explanation from Genius, however.

The group’s loss from operations was in fact down year-on-year in Q2, the business said, from $39.7m in 2022 to $7.8m in 2023.

That improvement was offset by a $29m reduction in gain on foreign currency compared to the prior year, resulting in the increased net loss of $10.3m.

2023 outlook

Now, Genius expects to generate group revenue of around $410m and adjusted EBITDA of $52m throughout the full year 2023.

It added that it also expects “to reach an important inflection point as it begins generating sustainable free-cash-flow in the second half of 2023 and beyond.”

CEO Mark Locke said: “Following the financial outperformance in the first half of the year and the recently renewed partnerships with Football DataCo and the NFL, we have validated our core strategy, differentiated our technology stack, and proven our sustainable business model.

“The ongoing success through the second quarter perfectly demonstrates our balanced approach in delivering near-term results, while accelerating Genius towards our long-term growth and profit targets.”

As of the end of the reporting period, Genius held cash and cash equivalents of $89.8m.

NFL gives slots a spin

This week CNBC put out a report on a curious development in the US, as Aristocrat Gaming unveiled its first ever NFL-themed slot machines.

The American football-themed reels are due to hit casino floors when the NFL season kicks off this September.

The new slots are “symbolic of a major reversal for the NFL,” CNBC points out, “from its vehement opposition to legalised sports betting prior to the 2018 Supreme Court decision, which paved the way for states to adopt sports wagering, to partnering with the AGA on responsible gambling initiatives.”

The NFL itself put a more positive spin on the new products, with its SVP of consumer products Joe Ruggiero suggesting “the unveiling of the first NFL-themed slot machines represents an opportunity to bring the League closer to our fans in a new area.”

Aristocrat Gaming was equally optimistic about the development, as CEO Hector Fernandez said: “I truly believe that this could be an industry changing event for slot machines and for casinos themselves … pushing the boundaries, driving innovation to something that really has never been done before.”

The slots will feature customisable skins, allowing players to choose their favorite team, and the game will then load relevant imagery, videos of key game moments and even stadium anthems.

Fernandez suggested that the machines will encourage younger men to give slots a go, helping bring them into a vertical currently dominated by older, female demographics.

When you think of the crossover between sports and casino gambling, is this what springs to mind?

Goodbye, Twitter

Elon Musk hit the headlines once again this week as he unceremoniously dropped Twitter’s existing branding and logo in favour of a minimalist new brand, X.

The change occurred suddenly and without warning, which The Conversation suggested was in keeping with Musk’s movements since taking over the social media giant last year.

“Such drastic changes are usually accompanied by presentations delving into rebrand reasoning from company execs desperate to show how the new image aligns with organisational strategy and company vision,” said the article in its assessment of the rebrand.

Musk’s sudden dropping of the much-loved blue bird is “in keeping with Twitter’s disruptive nature of late,” the article suggests, as the social media network has undergone a series of rapid transformations since it was overtaken by Tesla boss Musk.

The rebrand apparently aligns with Musk’s plans to develop Twitter (sorry, X) into an “everything app”, offering users much more than the ability to simply communicate.

Taking inspiration from China’s WeChat, Musk wants to turn X into a central component of users’ daily lives, facilitating financial transactions, written, audio, and video content, and more.

“But of course, one of the biggest risks of changing a brand identity from one that has global recognition, recall and awareness, is that users may not like the change,” The Conversation suggested. 

“By removing the Twitter brand there is an immediate loss of brand equity – the positive associations consumers have with the brand – which could ultimately encourage people to move to other platforms.”

If the conversation on X this week has been anything to go by, plenty of users have already been “encouraged” to jump ship from the platform.

How do you solve a problem like affordability?

The Racing Post this week offered up a response to the UK government’s Gambling Act review, with one commentator suggesting “I don’t think they truly understand a lot of betting.”

The article focuses closely on the introduction of so-called affordability checks, described as “background checks taking place at a trigger of £125 net loss within a month or £500 within a year.”

A higher tier of enhanced checks has also been proposed for customers crossing thresholds of a £1,000 net loss within 24 hours or £2,000 within 90 days. 

Under more detailed proposals set out in the Gambling Commission’s consultations on the matter, however, “anyone triggering checks at that second tier could be forced to undergo an enhanced check into their finances as often as twice a year,” the piece suggested.

Added to that, it explains, “for the purposes of calculating a net loss, it is proposed that any money won more than seven days ago for those at the £1,000 threshold, and 90 days ago at the £2,000 threshold, would be ignored, meaning that some could be made to prove they could afford their gambling, despite being in profit.”

The piece goes on to set out a number of different example customers, whose gambling activity either would or would not lead to enhanced financial checks being carried out.

The examples point out certain oddities in the way checks would be carried out under the proposals due to the time limits applied to what winnings can be considered, when assessing who needs to undergo checks and who doesn’t.

The piece also suggests that the checks may have the opposite of their intended impact.

“If you are truly trying to get people to gamble in a more responsible way, if I win some money on the first of the month and by the ninth of the month that money doesn’t count any more as my winnings, isn’t that encouraging me to punt through my money quicker, rather than when I actually fancy something?” asked professional gambler Neil Channing.

“’I’d better have a bet because otherwise it won’t count’. That feels totally counter-productive to what they are trying to achieve,” he concluded.

The Gambling Commission’s consultations on the matter are far from over, but the topic of affordability checks continues to be a sticking point for many in the UK gambling market.

Kentucky, known for its rich horse racing heritage and passionate sports fans, is gearing up for an exhilarating new chapter as sports betting finally gets the green light in the Bluegrass State.

With the approval from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC), the anticipation is building as the NFL season approaches, marking the perfect timing for the official rollout of sports betting in September.

Resounding endorsement as Governor backs bill

The KHRC’s approval allows for pari-mutuel wagering to take off on September 7, catering to retail, in-person locations like horse racing tracks, extension facilities, and simulcast venues.

Enthusiasts and bettors alike can now rejoice as they plan to soak in the electrifying atmosphere of horse racing while placing wagers on their favourite sports teams.

The date for the rollout also aligns with the commencement of the NFL season, building on the excitement of the opening games.

The road leading to this momentous occasion has been filled with events. Just over three months ago, the Republican-controlled Senate solidified the path for sports betting with a resounding endorsement, voting 25-12 in favour.

The bill found swift favour with Democratic Governor Andy Beshear, who promptly signed it into law on June 29, entrusting the KHRC with the crucial task of overseeing its implementation.

As a strong advocate of the venture, he lauded the potential financial benefits that sports betting is expected to bring to the state. 

Financial boost and interest in horse racing expected

As excitement brews in Kentucky, the ripple effects of legal sports betting are tangible. Having nearly three dozen states already embracing this opportunity, Kentucky anticipates unlocking the economic potential of this rapidly growing industry.

An impressive $23 million is expected to flow into the state’s coffers each year through tax revenue and licensing fees, significantly bolstering its financial standing.

In addition to the obvious financial benefits, sports betting holds a glimmer of hope as a potential catalyst for reigniting interest in horse racing reports, an online guide to the best horse betting platforms.

By offering a diverse range of betting options, horse racing tracks aim to engage bettors and entice them with the allure of this traditional sport. As the action unfolds on the tracks, fans can now also indulge in the thrill of betting on their favourite sports teams and athletes.

Various venues are bracing for the uptick in sports betting fans

Eager to maximise the potential of this new landscape, various horse racing tracks are already preparing to embrace sports betting.

Prominent locations such as Turfway Park in northern Kentucky and Ellis Park in Henderson, both owned by Churchill Downs Inc., will be among the first to offer sports betting opportunities. 

Furthermore, Churchill Downs Inc. is poised to extend sports betting to its Derby City Gaming facility, and they are diligently working on a new venue in the heart of Louisville, Keeneland, a revered institution in Lexington, is equally enthusiastic and plans to offer sports betting at its adjacent Red Mile venue.

Red Mile already boasts slots-like historical horse racing machines, a popular feature among gaming enthusiasts in the state.

The KHRC regulations, carefully designed to foster a fair and transparent sports betting environment, allow for up to nine operator facilities and three providers to obtain licenses.

This inclusivity is expected to promote healthy competition while ensuring that the state’s revenue streams are diverse and sustainable.

To oversee the smooth functioning of the industry, the KHRC will appoint 14 officials, with the flexibility to augment the workforce as required.

KHRC ensuring that gaming measures are in place as countdown begins

Beyond licensing, the KHRC regulations delve into the technical aspects of sports betting, encompassing gaming provisions and, importantly, responsible gaming measures.

The latter serves as a cornerstone of the industry’s integrity, safeguarding bettors and ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all participants.

With the NFL season about to commence, Kentucky is abuzz with excitement.

The legalisation of sports betting not only marks a significant milestone for the state’s economy but also showcases its dynamic sports culture.

The racetracks will now pulsate with excitement, as the crowd’s jubilant cheers and the adrenaline-fueled action of the games merge with the thrill of betting.

For the people of Kentucky, this fresh source of amusement is set to weave itself into the fabric of their sporting encounters, creating cherished memories that will resonate for generations to come.

The countdown has begun, and Kentucky is ready to welcome sports betting with open arms.

Whether it’s cheering for the beloved home team or rooting for the fastest steed on the track, the state is all set to embrace a new era of sports and gaming.

Stock in Genius Sports has plummeted after the sports data specialist missed Q4 earnings per share guidance by some $0.52. 

Topline numbers

Q4 2022 revenue increased by 25.4% to $105.3m. The majority was provided by the firm’s Betting, Technology Content & Services division:

Adjusted EBITDA for Q4 climbed by 121.3% to $2.67m, up from a $12.5m loss in the same period of last year, on an EBITDA margin of 2.5%.

Net loss, however, worsened by 139.7% to negative $127.7m, which Genius said was primarily driven by a loss on foreign currency conversions.

For the full-year 2022 period, net loss came in at $181.6m, a 69% improvement on the $592.8m net loss accrued in the same period of 2021.

The reduction was driven by shrinking stock-based compensation, as well as careful management of operating expenses and revenue growth compared to the prior year.

Annual revenue reached $341m amid a rise of 30%, with the strongest growth witnessed in Genius’ Media Technology, Content & Services segment:

Full-year Adjusted EBITDA hit $15.8m, displaying near quadruple-digit growth on last year’s figure of $1.6m. Again, management attributed the improvement to revenue growth, diversified revenue mix and “disciplined” cost control.

Genius ended the year with a closing cash balance of $159m, above the previously guided range of between $140m and $150m.

“The group had $159m of cash in December 2022, implying just over a year of cover at previous levels of losses,” said Regulus Partners analyst Paul Leyland. “Elusive cash flow profitability is therefore becoming a requirement, rather than an aspiration, in our view.”

The supplier reported Q4 EPS of -$0.63, compared to an analyst consensus of -$0.11, much to the dismay of shareholders.

News nugget

Focus inevitably turned to the US, where Genius is listed. US revenue more than doubled year-on-year, driven by market liberalisation and a 60% annual increase in in-play GGR.

“Keep in mind, the US is still a relatively new market within our global business,” said Genius CEO Mark Locke. “We expect this region will continue to be a long-term driver of significant growth, particularly as our losses continue to narrow year over year.”

The data specialist expects to reach profitability in the US at some point in 2024.

In Q4 specifically, online sports betting handle increased by 40% year-on-year, again driven by new state launches throughout 2022.

“As a reminder, our rev share contracts with US sportsbooks means every new state launch will result in an immediate revenue uplift for Genius with little additional cost,” said Locke.

“Growth in overall betting volume will continue to drive our profitability for years to come,” he added.

Leyland of Regulus Partners said Genius had successfully positioned itself into the burgeoning US market with these results.

“To a large extent Genius has ridden the wave of US sports betting growth, which should continue to provide group momentum going forward. However, the key to revenue scale and profitability remains the more effective exploitation of sports rights, in our view,” he added.

On that topic, Genius subsidiary Second Spectrum signed a multi-year extension to its partnership with the NBA only yesterday.

Despite an operational focus on the US, 68% of Genius revenue is still generated from customers outside of the US, in more mature markets like Europe and the UK.

Best quote

Locke said the firm’s Second Spectrum technology was the sports equivalent of ChatGPT.

“Our technology enables machines to autonomously understand sports at a level far beyond even the best pundit or commentator.”

Best question

Analysts agreed that guidance (see below) came in on the cautious side.

“The business is in a bigger and better performing place than it was 14 months ago, so why reiterate those same underlying assumptions when the business has outperformed in each of the last four quarters?” asked Craig-Hallum analyst Ryan Sigdahl.

“I guess the first thing to say is that the underlying assumptions haven’t changed,” said Genius CFO Nick Taylor. “We’re very pleased with our 2022 performance, we’re very pleased to hit and exceed, and we’ll be looking to hit and exceed what we set out for 2023.”

When asked why Genius had chosen to provide a solitary figure for guidance instead of an estimated range, Taylor replied: “We didn’t give a range last year. We’re very precise in our forecasting.”

Current trading and outlook

Genius expects to generate group revenue of approximately $391m in full-year 2023 alongside Adjusted EBITDA of around $41m, due to continued revenue growth and a relatively fixed cost base.

The company also expects to generate positive free cash flow in the second half of this year.

“We are comfortable achieving our 2023 forecasts without the need for any new rights deals, the opening of any geographical markets, M&A, or any other exceptional factor,” said Locke.

Without new rights deals, however, Regulus Partners is concerned that Genius might pull a hamstring on its way down the path to profitability.

“How to profitably engage mass market betting customers is perhaps the biggest single product and UX question facing betting operators going forward and it is likely that sports rights holders will hold at least some of the keys (which need to be unlocked to make growing rights costs sustainable)” wrote Leyland.

“Herein lies a difficulty: while Genius Sports is on the right strategic path, in our view, the $41m spent last year on R&D needs to pay rapid revenue dividends or face being cut in an operationally necessary but ultimately self-defeating path to profitability,” he concluded.