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Nicholas Kitonyi's  Instablog

Nicholas Kitonyi
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I am a value oriented investor. I try to identify undervalued and growth stocks, with an attractive outlook. I started investing in the stock market in 2007.
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  • Is Net Entertainment Getting Spooky With Dracula Slot?

    Net Entertainment is one of the top online gaming companies in the industry along with the likes of Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA), Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) and UK's Gamesys Ltd.

    Competition in the online gaming space has been intensifying over the last few years, especially following Zynga's launch, and companies are now looking to stay ahead by launching games based on top entertainment characters.

    Net Entertainment has come up with one of the spookiest gaming characters after launching Dracula Slot. At the end of April 2015, Net Entertainment announced that it had launched Universal Studios Monsters franchise for its new slot Dracula Slot.

    The slot is tailor-made for both mobile and desktop platforms, and was developed with licensing agreement with Universal Partnerships & Licensing.

    Anyone who watched the recent movie on the same character by Gary Shore (Dracula Untold) will be able to connect the dots between the movie and NetEnt's latest slot. Dracula transforms into a cluster of bats that land on the reels and then transform again into a random symbol.

    This is indeed one of the spookiest gaming slots by NetEnt, especially given the legend associated with the character and will certainly attract a lot of gamers.

    Unlike Zynga, NetEnt is one of the most successful online gaming companies in terms of performance, and continues to build its online gaming portfolio with slots like Dracula Slot.

    However, while Zynga continues to suffer due to aging franchises and restrictive online gambling legislation in the US, NetEnt seems to have everything falling into place.

    Zynga is certainly one of the most popular online gaming brands, especially given its Farmville franchises, which typically launched into the limelight a couple of years ago.

    Nonetheless, the company has experienced hard times including the departure and the return of founder Mark Pincus, and the subsequent departure of ex-Microsoft executive Don Mattrick.

    A lot of criticism of Zynga has been leveled towards its inability to replace the aging franchises. This has played a key role in depleting revenues and earnings over the last few years and currently, no clear path yet.

    On the other hand, NetEnt has been able to come up with slots after slots, albeit some of them such as the Dracula Slot, pretty spooky. However, as they say, "you've got do what you've got to do to survive", and it is clear that NetEnt's has one goal in mind (maximizing shareholder value).


    The bottom line is that with competition in the online gambling market increasing every day, companies are faced with a tough task of launching interesting slots to remain ahead of competition.

    Some of them have managed to do this well, while others like Zynga continue to struggle.

    NetEnt on the other hand, just launched s spooky slot dubbed Dracula Slot last month and seems set to continue coming up with amazing franchises.

    May 26 4:04 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Can Incentives Boost Revenues For Online Casinos?

    Companies operating in the online casino market have not been experiencing the best of days over the last few quarters, especially in the U.S. Interestingly; statistics suggest that the opportunity in the market is enormous, with the main challenge being legalization.

    This is mainly because of the illegal online betting and casino slots running in the black market. In fact, the black market is believed to wager billions of dollars compared to the legal market which averages just a few hundred millions.

    A good example is the 2015 Super Bowl, which garnered about $116 million in online legal bets, as compared to the illegal bets, believed to have wagered amounts in the tune of $3.8 billion. The big question is what should the companies do to improve businesses in the legal online gambling market? They already offer several incentives including bonuses, free spins and many more.

    Take for example starburst slots which offer a variety of incentives to real money gamblers. Other major online casino companies also have a selection of lucrative incentives for players to switch to the legal gambling platforms at the expense of the black market platforms. Starburst bonuses begin at 100% in most slots and actually have up to 100 rounds worth of free spins and even more in some slots. This is one of the things that drive players to its slots, as many more continue to join.

    Online gambling is yet to gain momentum in the U.S with legalization still a major obstacle, but based on the recent bets stats from Super Bowl 2015, it now appears that more companies will be pushing for legalization of sports betting the U.S.

    This should also help boost the overall participation of players in the online casino market, as the general online gambling industry shifts a gear up in the country.

    While some companies like Wynn Resorts (NYSE:WYNN) and Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) continue to oppose the legalization of real money online gambling, MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM) and Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR) have welcomed the move with open hands.

    Nonetheless, progress remains tepid, as most states are very much anti-real money online gambling. Therefore, it appears as though the best opportunity would be to target foreign markets such as Europe, Asia and Latin America, but then again, there are already dominant participants in those markets, including William Hill, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and Betfair among others.

    As such, this leaves means that legalization in the U.S provides the most crucial catalyst, but even then, companies would have venture into the market with real incentives like those offered by European counterparts in a bid to luring players who are already very active in the black market.


    The bottom line is that incentives are crucial to online gambling, and bonuses along with benefits such as free spins can play a huge part in attracting more players.

    The same aspect is featured across several other risky money making opportunities such as in Forex Trading, CFDs Trading and Binary Options, and thus players would be looking to capitalize on such opportunities.

    Nonetheless, legalization would be vital in all of this campaign.

    Mar 17 1:27 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Playtech On The Promise Of Acquisition Binge As Profits Soar 40%

    Last month, Playtech (LON.PTEC) (OTC:PYTCF.PK), which is one of the leading companies in online gambling, posted a massive leap in bottom line as profits grew by 40% for Q4 2014. Founded in 1999, Playtech has grown to become of the top companies operating in the gambling industry and looks set to continue on this track especially following its founder's comments.

    Israeli tech entrepreneur Teddy Sagi is keen to raise the stakes in online gambling after promising to go on acquisition binge following his company's impressive growth in profits.

    Sagi still owns a third of Playtech and hence has a massive influence on what the company does or does not do. Therefore, his comments following Q4 results have set the market on high alert as analysts continue to identify potential targets that Playtech could be after.

    According to reports, the 42-year old billionaire is the most successful in a line of Israeli pioneers who are turning online gambling into a multinational, multiplatform industry, aligning algorithmic wizardry to the public' growing appetite for betting.

    Who uses Playtech's software?

    Big online betting companies like William Hill (LON.WMH) (OTC:WIMHF.PK) have been capitalizing on Playtech's cutting-edge technology to build their platforms virtually from scratch.

    The U.K-listed William Hill bought out Playtech from their joint venture was also looking at another Israeli business, but instead went for 888 Holdings (LON.888) (OTC:EIHDF.PK). However, the bid failed but analysts remarked that the GBP 700 million valuations showed just how important proprietary software is in the online gambling industry.

    Playtech formally parted ways with William Hill in 2013, but now reports suggest that the company could be moving from being an acquisition target to an acquirer.

    The online gambling space has several players, but only a few have the software and technology to stay ahead of the rest. Playtech is certainly one of the few and by look of things, it appears now to be ready for the next step, which is global expansion.

    There are two ways in which the company could do this, which include organic growth and via acquisitions. Therefore, it is now a matter of time before we finally see who is on the company's list and my guess is that it wouldn't be a surprise if one big name popped up.


    The bottom line is that with profits soaring and Playtech holding one of the best technologies for building online gaming platforms, the company has all the cards in its hands and it can play to win long-term or accelerate matters by acquiring various startups, or even a major operator.

    Mar 12 8:17 AM | Link | Comment!
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