October 30, 2007

32Red sells Bet Direct to Stan James

32Red has sold its Bet Direct sportsbook to Stan James for £5.75m, as revealed by eGaming Review at the end of September.

The news came with the publicaiton of the firm’s results for the first half of the year which showed total revenues increasing of 47.2% to £9.2m. However, casino revenues were almost static and poker revenues fell nearly 4% over the period.

32Red bought Bet Direct in June 2006 from Sportech for £12.5m. The company said it will use proceeds from the sale to increase the profile of its casino, poker and sportsbetting products and expansion into new territories. Bookmakers Stan James and Boylesports were reportedly in the running to buy Bet Direct, but Boylesports chief executive Daniel O’Mahoney counted his company out of the race late last week.

In its statement, 32Red said that further to a strategic review of both brands and a review of the potential business development opportunities for the company, it had accepted the offer of £5.75m for the intellectual property and “certain assets” of the Betdirect business. Chief executive Ed Ware said: “The sale of the Bet Direct brand allows us to channel our marketing and management focus on the core 32Red brand.”

Ware added that mobile gaming services and an integrated bingo offering will be added to the product range in the final quarter of this year.

32Red reported casino revenues of £4.6m for the six month period to the end of June, a 1.7% increase on the same period in 2006, and a drop in poker revenues of 3.8% over the six month period in 2007, compared to revenues of £0.6m in 2006.

The number of active customers grew to 75,911, compared with 44,539 in 2006.

Chief executive Ed Ware said: “Whilst the recent UK legislative changes effective from 1 September 2007 allow greater access to the UK market, we have identified a number of new territories into which we intend to market the 32Red brand.”