Online social gaming group seeks Aussie listing

News on 14 Apr 2018

Australia based but Malta-bound online social gaming group Virtual Gaming Worlds has confirmed that it is to seek a listing on the Australian Securities Exchange.

The company has enjoyed a growth phase, with sales on track to reach $350 million in the 2017-2018 year, and is hoping to join the ASX via a compliance listing involving a small capital raising of several million dollars on the back of strong revenues from the company’s US-facing Global Poker game, launched 16 months ago.

Audited interim accounts filed by VGW show the company’s revenue soared to $155.6 million in the six months to December 31 2017 from $37.8 million a year prior, generating a $4.7 million profit.

The group employs 260 people, mainly in Perth, Western Australia, and plans to remain headquartered there, although it is moving gaming operations to Malta in order to take advantage of the licence and regulatory facilities and benevolent tax regime.

The company has its own games development division, servicing its operations at Global Poker and Chumba Casino. It attracts customers via Facebook, paying the social media giant up to $7 million a month in marketing and advertising fees for a spend of $33 million in the December half alone.

Both operations enjoy buoyant business conditions in the United States, although the impact of the recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision regarding the legality of social casino gaming in Washington States (see previous reports) has yet to be seen.

VGW has raised about $15 million of pre-float funding from WA investors. Founder and chief executive Laurence Escalante holds about 64 percent of the company, which also has expansion ambitions in Latin America and Asia, and plans to enter the lottery, sports and bingo verticals.

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