VANCOUVER, BC / ACCESSWIRE / Ocotober 15, 2014 / Canada is quickly becoming a hot startup home to a rapidly growing online activity. It's one which enjoys growth in the region of 7-10% annually, with a global market value estimated at €21 billion (CAD$30 billion). What is it? Online gambling. These days, online doesn't have to mean desktop computer, the gambling industry points out that the major trend is toward mobile and social gambling.
The global online gambling sector is flourishing today and Western countries are leading the way in the legalization and regulation of the sector, with more than half of Western European countries facilitating the booming sector and only a handful of US states permitting. The Canadian situation is tricky; OnlineGambling.ca suggests that while the practice is not yet legal in Canada, companies can offer online gambling services from outside the country and Canadians are safe to use those services.
Whatever the case of legal jurisdiction, a handful of Canadian firms have seized the opportunity ahead of much-anticipated worldwide legalization and have reaped the rewards of getting in early.
The companies that made the big leagues? Amaya Gaming Group Inc., IMPERUS Technologies Corp. and The Intertain Group Ltd.
Amaya Gaming Group Inc. (TO: AYA)
- Incorp: Jan 30, 2004
- Based: Pointe-Claire, Quebec
- Market cap: $3.2 billion
- Shares currently trading at $25.00
Amaya's story really began in this year, when June 12 Amaya Gaming announced an agreement with Oldford Group Limited, the parent company of Rational Group Ltd. to acquire the group for some US$4.9 billion. That move made Amaya the new owner of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, highly popular in the online gambling world. That deal made Amaya the world's largest publicly traded online gaming company and share price tripled from $0.10 to $0.30 between May-Oct.
IMPERUS Technologies Corp. (TSX.V: LAB.V)
- Incorp: Feb 9, 2011
- Based: Mississauga, Ontario
- Market cap: $29.28 million
- Shares currently trading at $0.53
IMPERUS Technologies more than proved with its performance this year, selecting opportunities to expand and grow beyond its home market.
On Oct 14 the company announced its plan to acquire social game developer Diwip Ltd., a popular supplier of 'social network' games on platforms including Facebook, iOS and Android. The US$50 million deal connects IMPERUS to Israel-based Diwip's 24 million customers in 220 countries. Shares were suspending early on Tuesday but are expected to resume trading soon.
An earlier move that established the company 'in the big league' was a deal with TelecomX back in August to supply global mobile network MTN with their CASINA® app, preloaded on smartphones. That bought IMPERUS access to MTN's African, Middle-Eastern and European markets, with some 1 million users alone expected to see the app on their smartphones in South Africa this year.
The Intertain Group Limited (TO: IT)
- Incorp. Nov 26, 2010
- Based: Toronto
- Market cap: $161 million
- Shares currently trading at $11.83
The Intertain Group offers online games through its subsidiary CryptoLogic Operations Limited, under two brand names; InterCasino and InterPoker.
The company boasts 9,000 daily users ‘on one of its sites alone’, 3 million registered users and state that over US$25 billion has been wagered across their sites to date. The InterCasino brand is older than the company, stretching back 18 years.
Shares rose in June on announcement that they would pay a dividend ($0.0317 per share) and spiked in Sept. this year on the news that they would be added to the S&P/TSX SmallCap Index – Standard and Poor’s Canadian Index Operations.
That’s not a bad list for an activity that hasn’t even been regulated yet in most countries.
SOURCE: VCN Publishing