Our iGaming Shares Report

Our iGaming shares report takes you through the share performance of the biggest slots providers and online casinos throughout 2021 (Image from Aidan Hancock at unsplash.com)

2021 was a year full of shifts in power as several iGaming giants made their moves by acquiring other brands. However, what impact has this had on the share prices of those companies throughout the year?

In this iGaming shares report, we will take a look at how each firm performed on the stock exchanges throughout 2021 and how acquisitions and expansions into new markets can directly impact the value of a company’s shares almost overnight.

888 Holdings PLC Shares

One of the biggest gambling entities in the world, the Gibraltar-based 888 Holdings PLC, operates popular brands including 888casino, 888poker, and 888sport. The brands’ online casino is regarded as one of the best in the industry due to ordering high-quality casino games from Evolution, Playtech, Play’n GO, NetEnt, and Red Tiger, holding licenses from Malta, the UK, and Gibraltar, and offering fabulous promotions. Thanks to its Section8 in house studio, the casino also developers its own video slots and jackpots. 888 Holdings recorded revenue of $849.7 million in 2020 and is likely to post similarly big numbers for 2021.

The company also made moves to expand throughout 2021, most notably through the soon to complete acquisition of all of William Hill’s non-US assets. Announced in September 2021 that €2.6 billion (£2.2 billion) deal led to a year high share price on the London Stock Exchange of 478.00 GBX during the same month. That share price began 2021 at 295.50 GBX and this steadily grew 33% to 395.00 GBX by the end of the first quarter. Q2 didn’t bring too much fluctuation in the share price, but it did drop slightly to 383.80 GBX as Q2 closed. Mainly due to news of the William Hill takeover becoming public knowledge, Q3 saw 888 Holdings shares soar. The yearly high of 478.00 GBX was a good 60% increase compared to market prices listed at the start of the year. Throughout the last quarter, however, a downtrend saw prices return to the 301.00 GBX mark. For many, the company’s announcement that it is selling off its bingo companies is attributed to this.

NetEnt & Red Tiger (Evolution Shares)

NetEnt and Red Tiger Gaming are two of the biggest names in the video slots space, and between them, they developed a ton of exciting new casino content in 2021. As you might know, NetEnt acquired Red Tiger in 2019 but was acquired a year later by Evolution. The leading live casino iGaming firm wanted to dip its toes into the video slot genre and did so by purchasing two leading developers in one fell swoop. Evolution then added Big Time Gaming to its portfolio of slots developers in July 2021.

Evolution floats its shares on the Stockholm NASDAQ, and the company’s continual expansion has seen its share value increase significantly throughout 2021. Starting the year at a price of kr800.00, Evolution’s share price would increase 60% to kr1,286.20 by the close of Q4 and 2021. Much of that growth came in Q1 off the back of Evolutions December 2020 acquisition of NetEnt, as that quarter closed a share price of kr1,286.00. That upward trend continued through Q2, which resulted in the company’s highest share price of kr1,672,00. This growth coincides with the announcement that Evolution had agreed to a deal to take over Big Time Gaming. The share price did eventually drop to kr1,352.80 by the end of Q2. The price remained steady throughout Q3 as it closed at kr1,334.60 but Q4 was about to witness that price come crashing down.

Something the iGaming development company claims is the responsibility of the operators, Evolution was accused of providing its casino games in unregulated countries. This led to the Q4 share performance dropping to kr878.20, a fall of 39% on its 2021 high.

LeoVegas Shares

LeoVegas is among the biggest online casino brands in the iGaming industry. With revenues expected to once again top €3bn, 2021 should have proved another fruitful year for the leading online casino. Listed on the Stockholm NASDAQ, the company’s current share price has not altered too much from the start of 2021. Currently, those shares sit at a price of kr34.84 which is slightly down from the kr34.98 at the start of Q1 last year. Following the completion of the May acquisition of the Expekt brand and the news that the LeoVegas had an agreement with Caesars Entertainment to launch its online casino products in the US, the share price rapidly increased throughout the end of Q1 and start of Q2. At the end of the second quarter, that price had increased to kr51.15 while the company enjoyed a year high price of kr54.25 in the middle of April. However, by the end of Q2, that price had fallen to the previous kr38.00 levels. The gradual decline continued throughout Q3 due to re-regulation in Germany and the Netherlands, affecting the casino’s performance and revenues. Q3 finished with a share price of kr34.24 while the year ended at kr35.04.

Playtech Shares

The big news around Playtech in 2021 came in October when the iGaming giant announced it was looking for a buyer. Aristocrat and Gopher Investments both made an offer before the latter pulled out a couple of weeks later. Playtech shareholders will vote to approve Aristocrat’s €3.1bn offer on January 12, with a majority of 75% in favour required to settle the deal. The firm’s shares started in 2021 at 410.70 GBX and saw a 7.5% rise to 441.90 GBX by the end of Q1. A small downward trend through Q2 brought them to 425.20 GBX, while Q3 ended with a 10% increase to 469.20 GBX. Things changed drastically in Q4 with the news of the Aristocrat acquisition gaining traction. A sharp upturn left Playtech’s shares valued at around the 750 GBX marker throughout the quarter. That price has continued to stick, as today they’re valued at 740 GBX.

Aristocrat Shares

Listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, the Playtech acquisition also affected the share price of Aristocrat. At the start of the year, the company’s share price was 30.86 AUD but fast forward a year and it’s now 45.39 AUD, a 47.08% increase. It was a year of gradual increases, as Q1 ended with an Aristocrat share price of 33.48 AUD, Q2 closed at 42.92 AUD, and Q3 saw further increases to 46.76 AUD. Q4 brought a year high of 48.64 AUD before the year closed, with the shares valued at 45.39 AUD.