They say, with the deepest respect, that: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
Yet, in rejoinder, and equally respectfully, it’s fair to say that you can, alternatively, always teach a new dog old tricks.
Such is the happy outcome for legendary Spanish betting company Codere, a company built on bricks and mortar, which once bestrode Iberia and the Hispano-American market as a giant — until felled by the debilitating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But now, like a phoenix risen from the ashes, Codere Online, a latter-day avatar of Codere, inspired by the historical vim and vigour of its parent, is cutting a dash across Mexico and most of Latin America’s other emerging chilli-hot betting markets.
They’ve even bagged the bragging rights to sponsoring the shirt of Argentina’s storied (football) Club Atlético River Plate.
The regenesis of Codere Online came out of the chaos of Covid, with Codere facing oblivion; its future in the hands of bondholders.
Last May parent Codere grabbed the opportunity to spin-off its online division and, in alliance with a SPAC called DD3 Acquisition Corp, launch it on New York’s Nasdaq with a valuation of US$350 million (£304.15m).
The gambit has paid off big time, with Codere Online priming its natural market of Spain, Mexico, Colombia; while pursuing other Latin opportunities in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Uruguay, as well as the so-called “Latino” market inside the United States.
Results from Codere Online’s just-released financial second-quarter report, ending June 30, are very, very encouraging.
Net gaming revenue (NGR) was up 41 per cent, year-on-year, to €29.2 million (£25.25m).
Although the number of active players in Spain fell by four per cent to 36,800, the country remained its biggest market, providing NGR of €14.1 million (£12.19m).
Mexico was the big Codere Online mover.
NGR in the nation soared by 85 per cent to €11.9 million (£10.29m), compared to 2021 Q2. The number of active players increased by over 40 per cent to 32,300.
Colombia grew by similar margins, contributing NGR of €2.2 million (£1.9m), with other Latin American territories bringing-in €1 million (£864,888).
Argentina–where Codere have just gained a licence to operate in Cordoba province, and where the company is now sponsoring River Plate, a football club that has won the top Primera División a record 37 times—is set to follow.
Globally, the number of active players on the Codere Online network reached almost 105,000 punters, a year-on-year increase of 30 per cent.
“We are very pleased with our results in the first half of the year, particularly with the acceleration in net gaming revenue growth to 41 per cent in the second quarter,” said Moshe Edree, Codere Online’s CEO.
The iGaming company is now well on track to hit its estimated full-year NGR of €120 million (£103.78).
Last year when Codere Online launched on the Nasdaq, Vicente Di Loreto, then-CEO of the parent Codere Group said: “We are proud of this deal, which will provide our online team with the financial resources needed to grow Codere Online and take it to a new, higher level.”
How satisfying, one imagines, to be able to say: “I told you so.”