Perth-based online casino juggernaut Virtual Gaming Worlds (VGW) continues to grow, with its published financial year 2022 accounts recording year-on-year growth of 55%, adding a mighty $1.3B to annual revenue.
The accounts, which were lodged with Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) last month, show revenues of $3.5 billion, with an increase in profit after tax of 54% to $454 million. The company paid dividends of $413 million.
VGW’s media-shy founder Laurence Escalante, who initially set up the company from a desk at Spacecubed in 2010, owns 66% of VGW, which would make his annual dividend a very tidy $272.58 million.
Last year, with $2.2 billion in revenue and owning slight less (65%) of the company, Mr Escalante took home a dividend more than $40 million. The previous year (2019/20) had reported revenues of $778 million, which means the company grew by a factor of 4.5 over the past two (COVID-impacted) years. Offline casinos may have had to shut down, but online ones charged on, it would seem.
Although its income comes from overseas, primarily the United States, the company has around 200 staff members based in Perth, with popular social casino virtual games on the platform including Chumba Casino and Luckyland Slot.
Several months ago, it was reported that VGW was the sixth largest private company in Australia, with this figure based on revenue of $3.1 billion, according to IBISWorld’s Top 500 Private Companies report.
The 2022 accounts also noted “events after the reporting period” which revealed that on July 28 of this year, VGW issued 41 million loan-funded shares to the directors – Mr Escalante, his father Lorenzo Escalante and chief marketing officer Mat Johnson – and some executives as part of its employee incentive program. These shares were issued at $4.01 per share.
The news comes as there is increasing speculation VGW will publicly float in the United States.
Spacecubed is a sponsor of Startup News.