Traders ploughed into totalisator-style betting group Webis Holdings this week after the US Supreme Court paved the way for states to legalise sports betting.
A federal ban on sports wagering was lifted by the Supreme Court on Monday, opening up what could be one of, if not the, largest betting market in the world.
Webis said the decision won’t have an immediate impact as states have to get their legislation in place first but it will almost certainly boost the group’s US operations over the longer-term.
Sure bet: Traders ploughed into totalisator-style betting group Webis Holdings this week after the US Supreme Court paved the way for states to legalise sports betting
Ed Comins, the president of Webis’ WatchandWager division, said he was ‘excited’ about the legalisation, adding that the company ‘can only benefit from this decision’. Shares soared more than 400 per cent to 5.2p.
Gaming software specialist GAN also jumped on the back of the news from across the pond.
Unsurprisingly, the firm welcomed the decision and confirmed it is preparing to launch internet sports betting in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania for ‘multiple US clients’ in the second half of this year, adding that sports betting will be ‘material’ to its revenues going forward.
The stock didn’t explode in the same way as Webis’, but it still rose an impressive 82 per cent to 65p.
Elsewhere, the decline of The People’s Operator continued this week as the mobile network operator with a charitable kicker issued a grim update.
The company told investors on Tuesday that despite renewed marketing efforts it hasn’t been able to sign up enough new subscribers, meaning that an ‘alternative strategy’ is required.
TPOP, which has Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales on its board, also said it is in discussions to sell off its US subscriber base as it looks to narrow its focus on the UK market which it reckons has ‘better growth prospects’.
Money is still an issue for the firm, and it noted that there is ‘little likelihood”’ anyone with a share warrant would both exercising them given the current share price so it has been exploring other financing options.
Shares fell 47 per cent over the week to 0.02p, a far cry from the 140p they were changing hands for just a couple of years ago.
Subscription woes: The People’s Operator told investors that despite renewed marketing efforts it hasn’t been able to sign up enough new subscribers
Alarm bells were also ringing at Sprue Aegis after it warned that its recent settlement with a distributor had cost it £3.8million, while current trading is well below expectations.
The safety products group had delayed publishing its full-year results due to the spat with Newell Brands’ BRK arm, and investors might well be wishing the dispute was still raging on.
The numbers didn’t make for good reading, with the dividend being axed after revenues and profits fell last year.
Things haven’t been any better so far in 2018, with sales 20 per cent below where they were this time last year and an interim loss likely.
Shares plunged by almost a third to 87.5p.
Appointment boost: E-sports group Gfinity surged this week after it appointed sports supremo Garry Cook as its new executive chairman
Overall it was a pretty good week for the small-caps though, with the AIM All-Share hitting new all-time highs, climbing 7.0 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 1,087.2.
That wasn’t enough to get one over on the blue-chips, though.
The FTSE 100 set fresh records of its own, jumping 57.4 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 7,783.7.
Another of those leading the junior market higher was e-sports group Gfinity, which surged this week after it appointed sports supremo Garry Cook as its new executive chairman.
The British businessman’s CV makes for impressive reading, having headed up Nike’s Jordan brand, before moving on to become the chief executive of Premier League football club Manchester City.
More recently, he has held several high-profile roles at the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a mixed martial arts series, which many have likened to e-sports in terms of its structure and growth potential.
Flooded out: Velocys shares were taking on water after it found a leak at its jointly-owned gas-to-liquids plant in Oklahoma
Cook was chief global brand officer at the UFC until its sale for a reported £3billion ($4bn) back in 2016. Investors, excited what the future might hold with Cook at the helm, poured into the stock, sending shares up 16 per cent to 15.8p.
Velocys shares were taking on water after it found a leak at its jointly-owned gas-to-liquids plant in Oklahoma.
The company said it was confident the issue wasn’t to do with its technology, but the reactor will have to be shut until the problem is fixed.
With there only being two reactors at the site, the plant is unlikely to become cash-flow positive in this current quarter as Velocys had previously anticipated.
The stock fell 23 per cent to 12.6p.