International edition
September 28, 2020

Martin Higginson to be replaced by Charles Butler, the firm’s managing director

NetPlay CEO and founder resigns

(UK).- Martin Higginson, NetPlay TV’s founder and CEO, has stepped down to focus on his own investment firm, a company statement said. Higginson, who founded NetPlay TV in 2006, will be replaced by Charles Butler, the company’s managing director.

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he statement said that Higginson had “agreed to support” the new CEO “over the next few weeks” and that he would continue to advise the company on its strategy and media relationships on a consultancy basis following his resignation. He will “focus on the increased activities of his own investment company, M Capital Investment Partners,” the company added.

Butler joined NetPlay TV in January this year and has a decade’s worth of gaming industry experience. He was previously CEO of sports betting company Bowman International, a business he grew significantly before selling it to eGaming Review Operator of the Year 2010 Bet365.

“It has been a pleasure working with Martin since joining NetplayTV and I want to thank him for all his help and guidance,” said Butler. “Martin has used his considerable entrepreneurial skills, energy, and vision to grow NetPlayTV from being a small entrepreneurial business to a major UK media business. It now delivers its unique converged TV, internet and mobile casino product on both ITV1 and Channel Five.

“It is my job to now build on these solid foundations. With the recent placing successfully completed, the company has been placed on a firm footing, with a clear strategy, and a renewed focus on the core live casino product. I am confident that 2011 will be a very productive year.”

Higginson’s resignation follows huge company losses that were due to significant investment in an unsuccessful six-month trial of its Bingo Stars product on ITV. NetPlay issued a profit warning in June after Bingo Stars failed to deliver the revenues the company expected. In an interview with eGaming Review earlier this year, Higginson admitted that NetPlay had “taken a big gamble” investing heavily in the TV soft gaming format.

He then added: “The recent successful placing and implementation of our revised strategy have created the opportunity for me to hand the reigns over to Charles. I have enjoyed working with him over the past 12 months and I am confident he has the right skills to take the business to new heights. I would like to personally thank everyone who's been involved with making NetPlayTV the business it is today.”

Earlier this month eGaming Review reported that NetPlay TV was inviting offers on its bingo assets, including its Bingos operating arm and domains including Bingo.it, as part of a restructuring aimed at returning the business to profitability, a proposal document circulated to interested parties showed.

The AIM-listed operator, that has seen its share price slide to below 5 pence, raised us$ 3.8 million on 3 November through a share placing and said it was inviting “expressions of interest” in its Bingos business and associated domains. Bingos was acquired by NetPlay for 8 million euros in 2008.

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