And yet, until recently, Aspire Global was not a brand of great renown within the online gaming industry. Whilst industry insiders were gradually becoming aware of this new force, even regular casino players could have been forgiven for being unfamiliar with the name. This is unlikely to be the case today though, as the number of casinos operating on the company’s platform approaches three figures and it expands its interests into sports betting and beyond.
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Why has it been so successful? Well, it provides its operators and partners with everything they need to run a successful casino. The company holds licences enabling it to operate in dozens of territories based throughout Europe and much of the rest of the world too.
Aspire Global’s casino operators are able to choose from a range of flexible payment methods to offer their players. There are around forty different alternatives in total, although the actual number for each individual casino is dependent upon the territories each of the casinos on its platform is designed to cover.
What is not territory dependent is the quality of Aspire Global’s platform software. All casinos operating on its platform feature smooth running, easy to navigate designs which players love. Customer support is also of a consistently high standard. The company is committed to its CARE policy (Customers Are Really Everything), and for Aspire Global this is a mission statement, not just mere corporate jargon or a meaningless slogan.
Perhaps most of all though, the company has been so successful because it gives its casino partners, and most importantly their players, exactly what they want. With thousands of games available from around fifty of the very best software providers in the industry, it offers sufficient range to enable each casino on its platform to be able to offer their players something distinctive and different.
The company is flexible and responsive too – always on the look-out for the latest trends and fashions in the industry. This way, it is always fleet-footed and at the vanguard of change, pre-empting many of its more established competitors.
This can perhaps be best demonstrated by the recent re-launch of bingo on many of its casinos. Considered at the time by industry insiders and many of its competitors as a backward looking step, the move has been a great success. The company added to the variety of options on offer to its operators and players by spotting both a gap in the market and the resurgence in this traditional game’s popularity. Needless to say, its industry rivals are now scrambling to catch up.
So here at aspireglobalcasinos.com, we’re here to bring you all the latest news and developments at Aspire Global.
- We’ll tell you all about any new Aspire casinos, whenever they launch.
- Compare their strengths and weaknesses (not that there are likely to be many of those).
- Latest news about any new games providers who jump aboard the Aspire Global platform.
To find out all the latest news and releases in the world of Aspire Global remember to pay a regular visit to us here at aspireglobalcasinos.com.
Aspire Global: Overview
Aspire Global are already a major player in the online gaming industry. The company operates throughout the European continent and has recently expanded into the lucrative US and Latin American market too. Founded in 2005, the company is responsible for the employment of over four hundred people. The majority of these employees are located in one of three countries: Israel and Ukraine both have major offices, but the largest is situated on the Mediterranean island of Malta. The company’s senior management team are all located on the island.
Additional satellite offices are located in the European countries of Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Italy and Gibraltar. With the company always looking at expanding its operations throughout the world, it also has a small office in India.
Although the company is a big name within the industry, it is perhaps less well known to many customers and players. This is because until relatively recently, it mainly operated at the business to business (B2B) level. However, the launch of Karamba, the company’s new Business to Consumer (B2C) division, and its increasing focus on sports betting is certain to end this relative anonymity.
Nevertheless, in its early years, the company mainly operated as a ‘white label’ designer, supplying the games, software and back room services which enable casino and other gaming operators to run their sites. At the time of writing, Aspire Global is responsible for more than eighty different brands operating on its software platform worldwide. However, this network is rapidly expanding, with more new sites being added regularly. Therefore, it seems certain that this number will continue to rise.
What does Aspire Global do?
Like similar operations, Aspire Global offer a full suite of services, providing casino and sportsbook operators with virtually all the infrastructure and services required to run their sites. The only things left over for the company’s partners and clients to organise are their brand and marketing strategies. This means that Aspire Global can supply a full software and management service for both casino and sportsbook operators. Services include Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and customer support in whichever languages are appropriate for each of its client operators. Its Business Intelligence algorithms can also help its partners decide on the best advertising and marketing strategies to attract the best customers, and supply the VIP management services and systems to look after and retain them.
Aspire Global sites also have a range of more than a dozen different payment systems to offer their players, including debit cards, e-payments and other deposit methods. All payment services are supplied complete with comprehensive fraud detection and risk management strategies in place to protect their partners from any malpractice and skulduggery.
Operators who choose to run their sites on the company’s bespoke AspireCore software platform can select their game portfolios from a comprehensive range of today’s best gaming software designers, including names like NetEnt, Microgaming, Play‘n Go and Pragmatic Play, amongst dozens of others. This means that operators on the Aspire Global platform can offer their players all the best contemporary games, yet also offer sufficient range of titles to enable them to differentiate themselves from their rivals.
The Aspire Global platform has an astounding data capacity, successfully completing over 3 billion transactions every month. It is also extraordinarily efficient and reliable too, with a remarkable record of a mere 0.03% downtime over the previous twelve months at the time of writing.
All these services can also be provided on a flexible ‘pick and choose’ basis. This means that prospective partner operators can select a comprehensive suite of services, or decide on a more bespoke package, running the remainder of functions in-house rather than outsourced to Aspire Global.
All partner sites are fully licenced for whichever territory the brand will operate in, and comply with all relevant national government requirements. These can include specific regulations with regard to safe and responsible gambling, age verification and customer identity checks, plus any local data protection requirements.
From a player’s point of view, these services may sound a little remote. Yet whilst it’s true that players have little control over which services their favourite site uses, it is vital that these functions are correctly taken care of so that players can experience an efficient and smooth running service. With any casino or sportsbook operating on the Aspire Global platform, you can be reassured that this will be the case.
The Corporate Structure Of Aspire Global International LTD
Ownership and Licencing
Aspire Global’s casinos are licenced to operate in the United Kingdom by the UK Gambling Commission. Additional licences are held in other locations relevant to the territories operated in. These include, for example, the relevant regulatory authority for each individual state in which the company operates in the United States.
AG Communications Casinos
All gaming licences for Aspire Global are held by AG Communications, which may be a holding company, or simply a separate administrative entity. AG Communications itself is headquartered in Sliema, Malta and is also licenced by the Malta Gaming Authority.
Aspire Global is a well-run company, with a long term record of stability and transparent decision processes. Most of its board and operational management have been in place for some years, with the occasional addition recruited to bring fresh ideas.
The Board of Directors is chaired by Carl Klingberg, a seasoned executive with considerable experience within the gaming industry. Based in Sweden, he also has wider business experience, mostly in other online enterprises and within the financial services industry. In addition to his responsibilities with Aspire Global, he is also the Chair of a Swedish whisky company.
Meanwhile, fellow Swede Frederik Burvall has served on the Board since 2017, also bringing considerable wider gaming industry experience to the table. He sits on the board of several other companies, including others within the industry, and in the past has been a member of many others, such as Cherry Casino and gaming software specialists Yggdrasil.
Frederik also has considerable experience in the wider business world. His background includes periods in business finance and acquisitions. He is also currently a board member of a Swedish technology company which specialises in electric powered vehicles.
Additional board members include company founder Barak Matalon, who has been in place since the company started operations in 2005. With an Israeli business background, he also has considerable gaming industry experience, having also founded the worldwide operating lottery specialist NeoGames.
Fellow Israeli Aharon Aran is also on the Board, having joined in 2018. His background is in the media industry, having been an executive with a variety of Israeli TV and newspaper operations. He is also currently CEO of The Israeli Audience Research Board.
Aspire Global CEO is Tsachi Maimon. He plays a crucial role in maintaining the company’s consistent record of growth. He has already been in charge for around a decade, having been appointed in 2013. His steady hand and strategic vision is a result of his extensive experience in the gaming industry, and a successful record in telecoms management.
Chief Operating Officer (COO) is Antoine Bonello. He is responsible for the everyday management of the business. His is a relatively recent appointment, having arrived via a similar role at leading bookmaker and sports betting operation William Hill in September 2020. He has extensive experience in the gaming industry, having acquired previous experience with Betfair, Paddy Power and Mr Green. He is not a person to be messed with either, being a Master Black Belt holder in Lean Six Sigma and also a fully qualified Scrum Master. Many will be relieved to hear that neither of these qualifications are related to martial arts, but are in fact management and leadership courses.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is Motti Gil. He uses his considerable business and accounting experience to keep a tight rein on the company’s finances. He too has a background in the Israeli telecommunications industry. It was also Motti who provided the strategic leadership behind the company’s launch on the Swedish stock exchange – a crucial factor in Aspire Global’s recent successful growth.
Paul Myatt is the Chief Business Development Officer. He is also a recent addition to the management team, having been appointed in November 2020. His considerable experience in the online gaming industry certainly strengthens the team. He arrived from a strategic management role at gaming software experts Quickspin. Paul also spent five years in a major role atone of the biggest names in gaming software, NetEnt and has been brought in to oversee the integration of the company’s recent strategic acquisitions, Pariplay and BtoBet.
Joel Momigliano is leader of the customer relations role (B2C) at the company. He is responsible for overseeing the company’s directly owned gaming operations, such as the online casino brand Karamba. He has been with Aspire Global since 2015, having also arrived with considerable experience from a top notch rival. Joel previously spent eight years working in a variety of influential management roles at market leading 888 Holdings.
Aspire Global publishes its financial results quarterly, with a full financial report issued annually. This is usually published in February for the previous calendar year.
The last full year Annual Report available at the time of writing is for the 2020 financial year. This indicated a successful year of growth, with revenues up from €131 million in 2019 to close to €162 million in 2020. This represents an increase of almost 25% on the previous year. 2020’s performance continues a consistent record of growth, with the company’s revenues having more than doubled since 2017. Profit before tax (EBITDA) was around €27 million, with earnings after tax finalised at €15 million.
CEO Tsachi Maimon was certainly proud of the results, announcing that “Aspire Global has established itself as a powerhouse for iGaming operators with a broad geographic presence on four continents. This, combined with an outstanding offering, gives Aspire Global a solid base for further expansion.”
This extended period of growth certainly shows no sign of coming to an end. Interim results for the first six months of 2021 show that revenues have continued to rise. Total income was announced as close to €104 million, an increase of more than 34% on the corresponding period in 2020. Profits before tax (EBITDA) were up by more than 50% on the first six months of 2020, at over €18 million.
This consistent performance has been driven by several factors, including some smart strategic acquisitions and by expanding the company’s operations into additional markets.
2019 saw the company acquire major gaming industry rival Pariplay for around €13 million. This enabled Aspire Global to integrate Pariplay’s own software platform into its own operation and add several new gaming software providers to its own considerable portfolio.
This acquisition also enabled the company to take advantage of Pariplay’s growing US interests, including the successful application for a gaming licence in the state of New Jersey. 2021 saw the company finally begin operations in New Jersey for the first time, with an interim gaming licence also granted in West Virginia. Additional applications have already been made for the states of Pennsylvania and Michigan, with more pending.
A further important acquisition has also enabled the company to expand its interests into virgin territory. September 2020 saw Aspire Global agree the takeover of major sportsbook operator BtoBet for an eventual total of €20 million. The deal meant that the company could now expand into further European territories, including Russia, Spain and Switzerland. Meanwhile, additional sportsbook licencing deals with rivals Betfair and William Hill enabled the company to strengthen its position in the Latin American market.
These additional deals, added to the company’s considerable organic growth, mean that at the time of writing Aspire Global now operate in twenty six different regulated markets spanning Europe, North and South America and Africa. The additional revenue opportunities this offers has been a fundamental factor in this consistent record of successful growth.
Stock Market Listing
Aspire Global is a publicly listed company on Nasdaq’s First North Premier Growth Market in Stockholm, Sweden. Originally formed as a private company in Israel, it went public in 2017 after a successful Initial Public Offering of shares (IPO) which valued the company at around €120 million.
The IPO was in some ways disappointing as it seemed to underperform with regard to market expectations. However, the company’s value rose rapidly, reaching over $170 million within a month of its listing as the company’s share price soared. After its original IPO price of 30 Swedish krona (SEK), market demand saw a consistent level of around SEK 40 reached within weeks.
The company has continued to perform well over the succeeding years, with its share value having doubled again to around SEK80 at the time of writing.
Major shareholders include founder Barak Matalon, who continues to hold over 25% of the company’s shares. Additional major shareholders include renowned football agent Pini Zahavi (16%) and Israeli media magnate Eli Azur (16%).
Zahavi is often referred to as a ‘super-agent’, owing to his close connection to the Russian-Israeli billionaire and Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich. He also acts as agent to many of the world’s best footballers, including superstar Neymar and Poland’s renowned goal scorer Robert Lewandowski. Azur has several TV and newspaper interests, including ownership of the Jerusalem Post.
Together, these leading three shareholders hold the majority of Aspire Global shares.
Where do Aspire Global Operate?
At the time of writing this report, Aspire Global already operate in over 26 regulated markets. Assuming current rate of growth and the company’s already published plans, it seems likely that this figure will rise beyond thirty.
The majority of Aspire Global’s revenues are derived from Europe. It is responsible for dozens of casinos holding licences which enable the company to operate throughout the continent. Licenced territories include the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Austria, Germany, Poland and Romania.
The company’s rapid expansion has seen its market expand markedly in recent years. Greece, Russia, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland can now be added to the European list, and the company also has a strong presence throughout Scandinavia. This is especially the case in Finland, where the company has recently opened its first online Pay N Play casinos.
Pay N Play is a particularly important development for Aspire Global, enabling players to register and play simply by making a deposit. This enables its customers to avoid the lengthy registration process. This is because customers can use their banking ID to fulfil any relevant government and licencing requirements in order to verify their identity. Pay N Play is also more secure, because all payment and withdrawal transactions are carried out using data directly held by the customer’s own bank, rather than having to create a separate log in with the casino. Aspire Global are hopeful that this new payment service will soon receive licences to operate outside the currently permitted Scandinavian area, driving further territorial and revenue growth.
This territorial expansion is already taking Aspire Global far beyond its European base. The company already has a presence in New Jersey, and is securing licences to develop its business elsewhere in the United States. A suppliers’ licence has already been granted for West Virginia and licences have been applied for in several other states. The company is also already operating in other nations in Central and South America, including Colombia and Mexico.
Even further afield, the company has already acquired a presence on the continent of Africa, having commenced operations in Nigeria. And although its satellite office in India is currently being used for software design purposes, clearly Asia and the Far East is a potential area for growth in the longer term future.
Aspire Global CEO Tsachi Maimon is certainly upbeat about his company’s future prospects. It is easy to see why. As he describes, since the turn of the decade, the company has transformed itself from a business focused on purely casino into an online gaming giant, with its own platform, its own gaming software development function creating its own games, and with a full suite of management and customer support services to offer. Over the same short period, it has also developed from a European focused business into virtually a worldwide operation, with a business presence on four continents.
In this way, the company’s growth is not only being driven by territorial expansion, but also by developing additional sources of revenue. This is especially notable with regard to its successful foray into the sports betting market. Its acquisition of sports specialist BtoBet in October 2020 was particularly crucial in this strategy as Maimon sees sports betting as a particularly promising area for continued growth in Europe, especially in the United Kingdom and Germany.
Rapid growth is also expected in the United States. With more and more states liberalising their attitude to online gaming and offering additional licencing opportunities, Aspire Global is in the perfect position to take advantage. This applies to both online casino and the burgeoning sports betting market. The company has made another statement of intent in expanding its interests on the other side of the Atlantic with the appointment of experienced executive Quincy Raven as Managing Director of Aspire Global US in July 2021.
The published results for the first six months of 2021 have seen Aspire Global’s sustained period of growth continue. The Interim Report accompanying these results describes impressive new agreements with commercial partners and considerable additional geographic expansion.
New business growth is either already in place, or in immediate prospect in a variety of national markets. These include the UK, Ireland and Germany in Europe; a variety of states across the US including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan and West Virginia, and a number of countries in Central and Latin America, especially Colombia. This international territorial expansion is likely to continue as further partnership agreements are signed and as additional licenses which have already been applied for are granted.
Consistent growth is being maintained in the company’s online casino businesses both by expanding the range of services offered by continuing to sign up more casino operators to the popular software platform. Meanwhile, the recent acquisitions of Pariplay and BtoBet are helping reap rewards as the company continues to target additional markets in the US and further penetration into the competitive, but very profitable sports betting market.
Company CEOs in general are renowned for their optimistic, rose-tinted views on their business’s immediate future. Some cynics argue that their considerable salaries and incentive bonuses depend on it. Yet in the case of Aspire Global’s Tsachi Maimon it’s clearly not all sweet talk aimed at impressing his corporate investors. His company has produced impressive financial figures and possesses a consistent record of progress with which to back up his bluster. After six consecutive quarters of solid growth, there is no sign of this sustained progress coming to an end. For Aspire Global, the future is bright.