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Multichoice turns to betting division Kingmakers for growth as DSTV customers decline

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Pay-TV operator, Multichoice recorded significant growth in its betting business in Nigeria for the financial year ended March 31, 2024, as users of its betting platform, KingMakers, increased by 37%. 

The company disclosed this in its financial results for the year, which was released recently.

This came amid an 18% decline in subscribers for its main business, DStv and GOtv partly due to economic hardship and three consecutive price increments implemented by the company in the last one year. 

This indicates that more Nigerians are going into betting as a means of survival hoping to make more money by gambling with the little they have as inflation bites harder.   

Coming as a reprieve for the company whose Pay-TV business suffered declines across its operations, Multichoice said the online gaming business also saw a 26% year-on-year revenue increase from Nigeria in constant currency.  

However, in reported currency, which is USD, the company noted that the $147 million revenue for the year came in 26% lower than FY23 due to the impact of the weaker naira. 

“KingMakers reported strong growth in the online business in Nigeria, with monthly active users up 37% YoY and online gross gaming revenues up 26% YoY in constant currency.  

“Revenue of USD147 million was affected by the weak Naira, while the business reported a positive EBITDA of USD2 million. At the end of its December year-end, the business had a retained cash balance of USD113 million to fully fund its growth initiatives,” the company stated. 

In its overall financial performance for the year, Multichoice reported a loss of 4.148 billion rands ($224.87 million) in the year ended March 2024, an increase from a loss of 2.9 billion rands ($157.21 million) the year before, blaming it on foreign exchange losses in Nigeria, Kenya Zambia and Angola. 

Making its entry into the booming betting business in Nigeria, MultiChoice acquired a 20% stake in Nigerian online sports betting company BetKing, now known as KingMakers, for R1.3 billion in 2020. 

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