Charles Butler on a winning run at Netplay TV

Tuesday, Aug 09 2011 by
Charles Butler on a winning run at Netplay TV

When Charles Butler took on the role of chief executive at Netplay TV (LON:NPT) last November he was immediately faced with turning around the fortunes of the interactive gaming group. In 10 years on London's Alternative Investment Market Netplay TV has evolved from selling telephone and online information services to establishing a niche position in the UK's gambling sector. In its first set of half-year results since Butler's appointment, the company moved back in to profitability and is now eyeing opportunities to expand through mobile gaming and into international markets.

For Butler – an accountant by trade and a seasoned gaming industry mover who previously ran and later sold Bowman International to Bet365 Group in 2006 – the strategic changes at Netplay have been plotted carefully. Having joined the company as FD in January 2010, his approach has involved stripping out loss-making contracts and focusing on nurturing its core Casino service. He is in little doubt that the critical aspect of the group's offering – it has deals with terrestrial broadcasters including ITV1 and Channel 5 – have set it apart in a burgeoning market. Every night (six nights on ITV1) its SuperCasino and Challenge Jackpot brands air to hundreds of thousands of viewers, providing, what he says, is a giant advert for Netplay TV's services and engaging new customers.

According to industry analysts H2 Gambling Capital, Europe is expected to continue to grow its share of the global eGaming market in 2011 with 47.2% up from 31.5% in 2006. This is being boosted by a wave of regulatory go-aheads from governments including Italy this year and the likely addition in the near future of the Netherlands, Greece, Belgium and Spain. By comparison, North America has seen its share of interactive gambling fall from 30.5% in 2006 to an expected 16.7% in the current year. Japan Asia/the Middle East is expected to account for 27.7% of the market this year though this is 4.5% lower than the region's share of the market five years ago.

Charles, tell me about how the interactive gaming market is changing and the opportunities your strategy at Netplay TV?

It is an industry that has moved quickly and I think is still moving incredibly quickly, I think it has grown up an awful lot over the last 10 years and become…

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NetPlay TV plc is a United Kingdom-based online gaming company. The Company operates various interactive gaming services under an Alderney gaming license. The Company operates through two segments: Business-to-Customer (B2C) and Business-to-Business (B2B). B2C consists of various online products and ancillary income. The brands operated in this division are, and These brands operate online gaming and betting products. B2B relates to the online marketing, product development and technology business. The Company allows its customers to interact with its games on various platforms, such as television, Internet, mobile and tablet from a common integrated wallet. Its SuperCasino offers slot machine games, live dealer blackjack and baccarat, card games, a selection of casino table games, video poker and instant-win arcade games. Its Jackpot247 hosts games in the Playtech Latvian studio and their online casino games. more »

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3 Comments on this Article show/hide all

LeDisco 9th Aug '11 1 of 3

NetPlayTV plc has been removed from the Mobile Gaming Index(TM).
On July 31, 2011, NetPlay reported revenue from mobile gaming of £918,000 for the year ending 31 December 2010.
On 26 November 2010, the Group disposed of the ‘Lucky Numbers’ and ‘Grab a Grand’ SMS-based subscription services for initial cash consideration of £100,000 and contingent cash consideration of up to £50,000 dependent on performance conditions. At the reporting date £19,000 of the contingent consideration had accrued.
As a result of the above transaction, discontinued operations comprise the ‘Mobile’ business segment as reported in past Annual Reports.

The Mobile Gaming Index(TM) is published monthly in Mobile Betting News. The index is a currency-adjusted, average stock price of public companies in the mobile gaming sector.
The price is weighted by shares outstanding, and by an estimated mobile revenue ratio.

E-Magazine: Mobile Betting News
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LeDisco 9th Aug '11 2 of 3

By exiting mobile gaming, NetPlay is abandoning the fastest growing sector in the industry.

E-Magazine: Mobile Betting News
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Bl0gg3r 11th Aug '11 3 of 3

There has been a misunderstanding in that NetPlay haven’t moved out of the mobile sector. They are actually very much involved and uniquely positioned to take advantage of the growth in mobile with more than 13% of their players playing on iPhone.

I believe the ‘Lucky Numbers’ and ‘Grab-a-Grand’, although mobile products, were part of the mobile skill gaming sector which were heavily regulated by PPP.

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