6 January 2005
BETINTERNET.COM PLC (“betinternet” or the “Company”)
At today’s Annual General Meeting of betinternet, the Chairman, Mr Denham Eke, made the following statement regarding the Company’s current trading position:
Shareholders will be aware that since July 2004 the directors have undertaken a major strategic review of betinternet’s business. The results of that review were announced in October and the fundraising to support the development of the business was completed during December. The Company is now strongly placed to accelerate the growth of its pari-mutuel business and, in addition, intends to continue to seek out further enhancements to the offering it provides to its sportsbook customers.
As I indicated in my Chairman’s Statement which accompanied the 2004 report and accounts, the Company’s pari-mutuel business has traded well ahead of expectation during the current financial year. We believe that we can build upon this trend. In particular, our extensive range of host track contracts provides non-US residents with unrivalled opportunities to wager on US thoroughbred and greyhound content and therefore participate in the improved returns now available due to the elimination of US withholding tax.
To further enhance the attractiveness of our offering, I am delighted to announce that, following the signing of contracts within the last few days, we are able once again to offer our customers the opportunity to wager on Magna Entertainment product, to include major venues such as Gulfstream Park, Pimlico and Santa Anita Park.
The sportsbook operation will also benefit from the policy change, announced recently, by the Isle of Man Government to allow operators to accept wagers from the US, thus opening up the largest gaming market in the world to your Company.
The policy of widening the sportsbook offering to include casino, poker and games is proving to be successful. I am delighted to announce that in only the second week of operation and following a deliberate “soft-launch” the Company’s Play Live Casino achieved a turnover in excess of $1.1m. The Play Football game launched at the same time has had a similarly encouraging start.
The Company will be announcing the interim results for the 26 weeks to 28 November 2004 on 27 January 2005. The Board expects these results to show a considerable improvement in the sportsbook division when compared with the comparable period in 2003. There will nevertheless still be an operating loss after attributable overheads.
Pari-mutuel activities will be consolidated for the first time in the forthcoming interim results, and the Board expects these to show continuing strong levels of growth, with turnover more than doubled when compared with the previous period.
In looking towards the remainder of the financial year to 30 May 2005, the expectations of the Board are that there are significant opportunities to exploit the wagering and technical services that the Company can provide from its Isle of Man hub on a global basis. The Board considers that betinternet is uniquely placed to provide the link between the major track operators and content providers and the customers who wish to wager.
Overall, the Board remains confident that the Company will achieve its goal of becoming one of the leading providers of online gaming technology.