Softswiss Group reported a record quarter in Q1 2023 as revenue jumped 36.3% year-on-year and net income increased by 47%.

Topline numbers

Revenue for the quarter totalled $26.7m, up 36.3% year-on-year, as the business delivered more than 88,000 new depositing customers (NDCs) to its operator partners, up 31%.

North American revenue accounted for $14.1m of the total, a 33% increase year-on-year despite the comparative period including what CEO Charles Gillespie called the “blockbuster” launch of New York’s regulated sports betting market.

The company also reported record results in the UK and Ireland, as revenue there rose for the fifth consecutive quarter, up 36% to $8.5m.

Revenue from other European markets and the rest of the world was also up by 51%, the group said.

Total adjusted EBITDA came to $10.7m, up 48.5% amid an adjusted EBITDA margin of 40%, up from 37%.

Net income for the period totalled $6.6m, up 47%.

News nugget

For Group, the take-home message of these results is that there remains plenty of opportunity for the business to grow, even without any transformative change taking place.

The group pointed to its growth in North America in spite of launching just two new states during the quarter, Ohio and Massachusetts, and in spite of the tough comparative period.

In the UK and Ireland, the business also delivered impressive growth, outstripping the rate seen even in nascent North America, despite having operated in those markets for more than 10 years.

Further growth is expected this year as the business increases its focus on the online casino vertical with the launch of, which it expects “to be a tremendous vehicle to drive revenue growth over the coming years”.

The business also celebrated its new media partnerships signed during the quarter, with newspaper giant McClatchy and USA Today publisher Gannett. Group is also prepared to adjust its earnings guidance once it has greater clarity on the possibility of new state launches in the US.

Sports betting legislation in Vermont is “more or less a done deal,” according to Gillespie, while the business also believes North Carolina is likely to get legislation over the line this year.

Beyond the US, Gillespie suggested “the combined opportunity of newly regulating markets outside of North America and Europe is equally compelling and thoroughly under-appreciated”.

Best quote

“If you are a large media owner, you can make more money by partnering with an affiliate that can help you monetise with all of the operators versus trying to monetise with one single operator. It’s kind of obvious in retrospect.”

– CEO Charles Gillespie on the benefit of media owners partnering with affiliates over operators

Best question

David Katz from Jefferies made reference to some of this week’s biggest news stories in his question, as he asked management for their thoughts on the big M&A deals recently seen in the industry.

Gillespie suggested that “anytime a company that’s in your exact sector, that’s also a significant B2B supplier, is acquired at a premium in excess of 100%, that can only reflect positively on the companies in the peer group. So we take our hats off to NeoGames on a fantastic transaction.”

The deal, he added, will hopefully bring more investor attention back to the online gambling sector, after signs of diminishing interest over the past two years.

With major operators in the US either profitable or “on the brink of profitability,” Gillespie suggested that investor perception of the industry will be further catalysed in the near future.

Katz followed up by asking whether the affiliate sees opportunities for further acquisitions.

Gillespie suggested the business is “having a lot of good conversations,” and that “there’s no shortage of things out there to consider.”

“I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to announce something at some point, but we also remain as picky as ever,” he replied. “We feel like we’re under absolutely no pressure to do M&A, so we are only going to do the big deals – back to doing fewer, better, bigger transactions.”

Current trading and outlook

Following the release of the results, Group raised its full-year revenue guidance to between $95m and $99m, with adjusted EBITDA expected to fall between $33m and $37m.

The midpoints of those ranges represent revenue growth of 27% and EBITDA growth of 45%.

The business said it does not anticipate going live in any additional North American markets for the remainder of the year and will see no benefit from any new acquisitions. Group has signed a new multi-year strategic partnership with USA Today owner Gannett Co.

Under the deal, will provide relevant content for sports enthusiasts and leverage Gannett’s reach across the US media landscape through its nationwide USA Today Network.

The agreement will also see Gannett integrate’s proprietary data science platform across the USA Today Network, which includes more than 200 publications in local markets such as and the, in addition to its flagship USA Today brand.

Another key part of the deal will see provide content across Gannett’s Sports Media Group properties, including the Sports Wire suite of fan sites in more than 20 regulated US sports betting markets.

“Partnering with Group enables Gannett to have a market-leading, sports-betting authority deliver in-depth reviews, breaking news, and expert insights,” said Gannett chairman and CEO Michael Reed. Group CEO Charles Gillespie: “Gannett’s authoritative digital presence across the US makes them an ideal media partner for us to drive revenue and cash flow growth in our number one target market.”

“Our highly engaged audience of more than 47 million sports fans crave analysis and betting insights to make smart decisions and find the best sportsbooks and online casino sites.

“We expect this partnership to be immediately accretive to our EBITDA and free cash flow by monetising our sports traffic. The deal is progressively more valuable as regulated online gambling is launched in more states,” Reed concluded.

Charles Gillespie, CEO of Group, added: “Gannett’s authoritative digital presence across the US makes them an ideal media partner for us to drive revenue and cash flow growth in our number one target market.

“Media partnerships are a proven way for both Group and our media partners to create significant, new revenue from online gambling player acquisition. 

“We look forward to executing on our partnership with Gannett to demonstrate the benefits a best-in-class media alliance can deliver for all parties including Gannett, Group, our online gambling operator clients and most importantly – the growing number of online gamblers in the US.”