NetplayTV's profit warning


Take-up on the new Bingostars TV project lower than anticipated

The UK interactive television and AIM-listed gambling group NetPlayTV took a step back this week, issuing a profit warning following a "much lower than anticipated" take-up on its new BingoStars TV project.

The game is broadcast on major television channels including ITV's television shopping channel, STV and Virgin One and has mobile technology to allow instant play 'on-the-go'.

In a market update, group chief executive Martin Higginson said it was 'still very early days' for the product, which launched at the end of May .

'This product is a more akin to our proven interactive gaming formats," a statement from the company said. 'We have gained a vast amount of knowledge from our current successful and profitable media partnerships and we are using this knowledge to the full, both in terms of potential cost savings and customer playing habits.

'Early signs are more encouraging with customers depositing funds during the show as well as to the website the following day.'

However, the company noted that the switch from traditional games to an instant play model would have 'a material impact on short-term profit performance,' and as a result the directors feel this will have a significant impact on full year market expectations.

'The initial costs associated with producing and trialing new gaming formats are high, although as we amend the model to be more in line with our proven formats we are able to reduce costs significantly with immediate effect,' the statement added.

NetPlay recently relocated to a head office in London and has operational bases in Guernsey in the Channel Isles and Bulgaria.

Industry observers said that the instant play mobile mechanism developed for the BingoStars interactive television format failed to deliver the revenues anticipated, and as a consequence NetPlay had dropped BingoStars from the ITV1, Virgin 1 and STV schedules on 21 June, replacing it with a format deploying more conventional game play.

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