Poland’s largest bookmaker, STS Holding declared plans to exit the UK and Estonian markets despite reporting a significant increase in its net gaming revenue.
The latest development comes shortly after major gambling industry player Mansion Group announced it was surrendering its UK licence in a bid to intensify its activities in other countries and expand the company’s online casino operations in markets such as Spain and Canada’s Ontario. Last year, the group withdrew its flagship bookmaking brand MansionBet from the UK.
For STS, 2022 was a positive year, as the Polish company managed to significantly expand its net gaming revenue (NGR), the business said in a statement.
“In 2022, [the group] generated an NGR at the level of PLN663m, while a year earlier it was PLN565m which represents an increase of 17 percent year-on-year,” according to the statement. “The number of active users totaled 783,000, and in 2021 it was 693,000.”
STS reported some 439,000 new user accounts for 2022, up from 370,000 a year earlier.
Additionally, bets totalled PLN4.679bn (€995.3m) placed by its customers, an increase of 4.2 percent compared with a year earlier.
“All of the operational figures [for last year] reached their highest levels in history,” the company said, adding that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 significantly contributed to its positive financial results.
“In line with our earlier announcements, the fourth quarter of last year turned out to be record-breaking. The calendar of sports events and the World Cup in Qatar contributed to high customer activity. Our offer attracted as many as 200,000 new players in the last three months of the year. During the World Cup alone, we had close to half a million active customers,” said Mateusz Juroszek, the president of the management board of STS Holding.
Referring to its plan to “phase activities as part of the licences in Great Britain and Estonia”, the company said that it intends to focus its efforts on further increasing its revenues from the Polish market.
“Operational data for last year unequivocally indicates that the domestic market is experiencing a growth phase, and this takes place in spite of the very difficult macroeconomic conditions: the war in Ukraine, a high inflation rate, and economic stagnation,” according to Juroszek.
To increase the company’s profitability in 2023, STS is also implementing measures to reduce its costs and ensure higher efficiency of its activities, the chief executive said.
The Polish bookmaker said that, in addition to its online operations, the company operates a network of more than 400 shops across the country. Brick-and-mortar represents 15 percent of the group’s revenues, while online betting is responsible for some of the remaining 85 percent, as indicated by data released by STS. The company is operated by a workforce of more than 1,500 persons.
STS estimates it holds about 46 percent of the country’s legal bookmaking market, according to 2020 figures from the business. The company is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.