Casino game provider Evolution ended 2020 on a high note, driven by a rapidly developing gambling industry in the Asia Pacific region despite the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.
Stockholm-listed Evolution Gaming, which has since rebranded to “Evolution,” doubled its profits in the past year, generating €177.7 million in revenues in the fourth quarter of 2020, or a 68% increase year on year. Earnings for the live casino provider also rose 72% to €96.2 million, while profit was up to €80.6 million on a similar percentage.
Asia gambling market poised to show strong growth in FY2021
The geographic expansion proved to be a boon for Evolution. In 2020, all of the company’s geographic segments grew dramatically—especially Asia, which has contributed €42 million in Q4 2020. This is a 20% increase over the previous quarter and a whopping 137% growth year on year.
Evolution is considered to be one of the biggest live casino providers in the region. In India, Evolution powers the live dealer categories of many online casino sites. With a population of 1.36 billion, India is becoming a huge market for gambling. ENV Media’s report, titled India’s Richest Cities and Its Large Online Gambling Communities, notes how online casino India is growing largely due to improved Internet penetration and the rise in mobile device usage in the country, websites like PureWin are growing on monthly basis after adding cricket as a vertical for IPL . As Robin Hallengren of ENV Media explains, “The searches related to online gambling have increased with 140% year on year in India. ”
Pareto Securities also forecasts Asia to show 15-20% quarterly growth rate for the next five quarters from FY2021. It states: “Small overlap of customers in the Asian market between NetEnt (recent Evolution acquisition) and Evolution could boost the cross-selling revenue synergies even further, implying that consensus can appear to be too conservative in Asian market expectations. Following strong stable underlying growth in the Asian market, Evolution could offer more games in Asian languages, new studio launch closer to Asian speaking population, to satisfy the increasing Asian demand. Asian market is estimated to be the biggest revenue contributor from 2023 onward.”
NetEnt acquisition holds promise for Evolution
Evolution completed its acquisition of rival NetEnt on December 1 as part of its greater plan to become “the world leader in the online gambling industry.” So far, however, the NetEnt buy hasn’t contributed much to Evolution’s latest stellar figures—at least for 2020.
Still, CEO Martin Carlesund is “excited about what lies ahead for 2021,” saying it’s currently “an intense time” at the Evolution HQ as it gears up for the planned release of new products this year.“As we close the first year of this decade, the exact rate of global conversion from land-based to online gaming remains unpredictable. However, the overarching trends are clear and there is no doubt that online will continue to grow at a high rate, fuelled by the overall trends in increased access to high-speed internet and market regulation,” Carlesund said in a statement. “We have our growth runway laid out to meet this growing demand, and we will continue to invest in studio capacity and keep our relentless focus on product innovation and a flawless delivery by our team and striving to do better every day.”