Our Live Dealer Brands Shares Report

Our live dealer brands shares report will take you through the 2021 share performance of some of the biggest live casino companies in the iGaming industry (Image from PIX1861 on pixabay.com)

As we resign 2021 to the history books and look forward to what the live casino industry has in store for us in 2022, we thought we’d take a look at how some of the industry’s major players performed in the stock markets last year.

It has been a big year of acquisitions, and these would have played a part in the increase or decrease of share prices throughout 2021. Evolution took over Big Time Gaming, 888 Holdings acquired William Hill, Scientific Games snapped up Authentic Gaming, and although not complete, Playtech announced at the end of the year that it is likely to sell up to Aristocrat.

All of this would have affected the share performance of all companies involved. Below, we look at how each of them performed on the stock markets throughout the last year.

Evolution

As the biggest live casino brand in the iGaming industry, it seems logical to first take a look at the performance of Evolution’s share price throughout 2021. The year proved another busy one for the firm as it pushed for growth in new and existing markets. The company, which brought in an estimated $1.07bn in revenue throughout 2021, began the year off the back of the €1.8bn December 2020 acquisition of NetEnt and its subsidiary Red Tiger Gaming. Evolution continued to expand throughout 2021 too, acquiring Big Time Gaming for up to €450m at the start of July.

Floated on the NASDAQ in Stockholm, Evolution’s shares have mirrored the company’s consistent growth throughout the past year. At the start of January, the NASDAQ valued Evolution AB shares at just over kr800.00. By the end of the first quarter, that share price had risen to kr1,286.00 (+60.75%). However, it was the 2nd quarter that saw shares reach a yearly high. Coinciding with Evolution agreeing to acquire Big Time Gaming, the share price increased to kr1,672.00 in April before dropping to kr1,352.80 (+5.19 on Q1) by the end of Q2. That price held firm throughout Q3 with no major fluctuations in share price and closed the quarter at kr1334.60.

However, amid a competitor’s accusations that Evolution was operating in banned countries, the middle of Q4 saw Evolution’s stock tumble the furthest since first floating on the exchange in 2015. On November 18, the company had a share price of kr1455.40 but this had dropped a staggering 39% to kr878.20 by December 2. Fortunately, things improved throughout the last month of 2021 with Evolution AB shares sitting at kr1,286.20 at the end of the year. That is still a 60% increase from the start of the year and one the company will be delighted about despite the blip in Q4.

888 Holdings PLC

888 Holdings PLC owns the superb 888 Casino, which offers a fantastic live dealer suite of games powered by Evolution, Playtech, Pragmatic Play Live, and Authentic Gaming, and we also want to look at its share performance throughout 2021. The Gibraltar-based company floats its shares on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and if we ignored most of the year, there is not too much change now (301.00 GBX) from the start of 2021 (295.50 GBX). However, a deeper look shows some interesting fluctuations in share price throughout the year.

Q1 began steadily, but March brought a sharp increase in share price to 395.00 GBX, a 33% increase over the start of the year. By the end of Q2, the price had dropped slightly to 383.80 GBX. The biggest increase occurred at the end of Q3 in September and this coincided with the company’s acquisition of William Hill. The share price reached a year high of 478.00 GBX on the 22nd of that month. However, alongside 888 Holdings PLC December announcement that it was selling all B2C and B2B bingo companies to Saphalata Holdings, the share price dropped during Q4 to where they remain today.

Playtech

Playtech, which is expected to report revenues of over €1bn for 2021, began the year with company shares valued at 410.70 GBX on the London Stock Exchange, and there was not too much fluctuation until Q4. At the end of Q1, that share price had risen just 7.5% to 441.90 GBX and that had fallen to 425.20 GBX by the end of the second quarter. Likewise, Q3 proved unspectacular as the quarter closed with a share price of 469.20 GBX. However, with the October news that Playtech was looking to sell up, share price exploded throughout the last quarter. It reached a year high of 770 GBX in the middle of November, and that price held throughout Q4 and remains at 740.00 GBX today. Aristocrat is the company expected to acquire Playtech during the second quarter of 2022 after lodging a €3.1 billion offer, but other parties have shown interest. That includes the Hong Kong Investment firm Gopher Investments and the software company JKO Play.

Scientific Games

The final company we will look at in our live dealer brands’ shares report is Scientific Games, a firm that primarily earned its wealth in the land-based casino industry by developing slot machines and gaming terminals. However, the Vegas-based company which posted $2.7bn revenue in 2020, has now shifted focus onto the live casino space via its November acquisition of Authentic Gaming for an undisclosed amount. As for the company’s performance on the Stockholm NASDAQ, the year began quietly with shares valued and remaining at around $39.00 for Q1. However, shares trended upwards in Q2 mainly due to the reopening of many land-based operations and the performance of its lottery services. Share value had almost doubled to $77.44 at the end of Q2. That upward trend continues throughout Q3, which saw a year high of $89.08 before settling at $80.05 at the end of the quarter. That strong performance was short-lived, as Q4 saw the share price fall to $66.04 by the end of the year.

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