Press Release

Pollard Banknote Welcomes NeoGames’ New Equity Partner William Hill

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, August 17, 2015 /CNW/ – Pollard Banknote Limited (TSX: PBL) (“Pollard Banknote”) welcomes NeoGames S.A.R.L.’s new equity investor William Hill PLC (“William Hill”). William Hill, one of the world’s leading betting and gaming companies, acquired 29.4% of NeoGames S.A.R.L. (“NeoGames”) in a transaction announced last week.

In 2014, Pollard Banknote and NeoGames formed NeoPollard Interactive LLC (“NeoPollard Interactive”)—a strategic joint venture focusing on the regulated North American digital lottery market—with each party controlling 50% interest in NeoPollard Interactive. William Hill will now be a minority stakeholder in NeoGames and Pollard Banknote will remain a 50% owner of NeoPollard Interactive.

The disruptive capabilities of NeoPollard Interactive has been demonstrated through the first year of operations as the provider of the Michigan Lottery’s iLottery system, games, and related services. Since its launch, the Michigan Lottery has achieved record North American levels of iLottery sales via mobile and internet channels, while at the same time generating double-digit growth of retail sales. 

As a market leader in the retail and online sectors, William Hill understands omni-channel marketing and has evolved its focus to offer customers a seamless experience at retail and online. The company remains the largest bookmaker in the United Kingdom, boasting a formidable network of over 2,360 licensed betting shops across the country, and has also become one of the world’s leading online gaming companies with 2.8 million active digital customers and 40% of its revenues derived from online accounts in 2014. Furthermore, over 50% of William Hill’s sports betting revenues come via the mobile channel. Through this new investment with NeoGames, NeoPollard Interactive will be able to leverage the successful approach used by William Hill in both its retail and online businesses to the benefit of the North American lottery industry. 

“This minority investment in NeoGames by a major investor like William Hill is a testament to the emergence and future growth opportunity of the digital lottery market in North America,” said Doug Pollard, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Pollard Banknote. “William Hill is one of the most recognized and respected brands in the global gaming industry. With this investment, NeoPollard Interactive will maintain its current ownership structure and marketing and operational executives, while also leveraging the expertise and financial strength of William Hill through our joint venture with NeoGames to continue to lead the industry with the most robust and successful digital offerings available in the market today. NeoPollard Interactive retains its focus on lotteries while adding a new, positive voice that will help contribute to overall North American iLottery success.” 

James Henderson, Chief Executive Officer, William Hill, commented: “We are very excited to partner with NeoGames and, with our investment, indirectly with Pollard Banknote in the emergent online lottery market through NeoPollard Interactive. The iLottery market in North America is an exciting opportunity. NeoPollard Interactive has already established itself as a major presence, and we look forward to their continued success.” 

“We are excited by this strategic investment and partnership with William Hill,” said Ilan Rosen, Chief Executive, NeoGames. “Their backing will further strengthen NeoPollard Interactive’s proven expertise in the North American iLottery market and is a strong vote of confidence in our joint venture.”