Aspire Global Terminates Contract With Russian National Lottery
Aspire Global, a major online B2B, businesstobusiness, casino and gaming platform and provider, has recently cancelled its contract with Sports Lotteries LLC, the operator of the National Lottery in Russia.
This comes with an increasing number of companies and businesses in the global online gambling and casino industry to sever ties with Russia. The company, however, has not overtly stated its exact reasons,simply claiming to have a “different view of the business”.
Aspire Global, based in Malta,began in 2005 withTsachi Maimonleading as CEO. Growing from strength to strength,it has sinceexpanded its operations throughout most of Europe, the US,and until recently, Russia and Belarus. For 2021, it postedits highest ever revenue of €213.3million, a 31.8 percent increase from the previous year. This figure included its continued B2C, businesstocustomer, operations, with net profits for the year totalling at €24.1million, a 60.7 percent increase. Aspire has also had further windfalls in the recent past, such as a US$75.9 million deal with US-based company, Esports Technologies. In January this year, Swedish company, Neogames, made a public offering to buy the entirety of Aspire Global’s shares for SEK4.3billion.
In 2019, like many other countries around the world, online gambling was a rising trend in Russia. Lottery in particular was becoming increasingly popular. Sales in lottery tickets alone for that yearamassed a revenue of up to €1 billion, almost 77 billion rubles according to the exchange rate at the time.
The contract between Aspire Global and Russia’s National Lottery operator, Sports Lotteries LLC, with Ratmir Ronami as project manager, was formed in 2020. Aspire Global then expanded into the Russian market with its successful BtoBet brand. BtoBet was acquired by Aspire Global that same year for €20million, and instantly became an asset, increasing growth by 6 percent for the company in just the third quarter. Together with BtoBet’s B2B sportsbook and Neuron 3 sports betting platform, Aspire Global had what it needed to be involved in all the major areas of online gambling.
The contract with Sports Lotteries LLCwas intended to last for three years, with options for further extensions. It included provisions for a variety of multi-channel lottery games for both online and retail sales channels in Russia. Though other national and regional lottery providers continue to operate in the country, this will nevertheless count as a big loss for Russia’s gambling sector.Likewise, it will add to a steep decline in the country’s overall GDP for the coming year, with almost all sports, business and trade, except with China, being heavily impeded by sanctions from the West.
Genius Sports Group, Aristocrat, LeoVegas, BETER, and Ukraine-based Parimatch Tech, are among the manyother companies to have halted operations in Russia and Belarus.
Aspire Global claims that their termination of business with Russia and Belarus, which has been made with immediate effect, will not have a serious impact on the company’s global earnings and income for 2022, nor will it affect online blackjack enthusiasts elsewhere in the world.