What happened

Shares of online betting facilitator GAN Limited (GAN -3.82%) rose sharply at the open on Aug. 13, reaching a gain of around 13.5% by 11 a.m. EDT. Although it gave back some of that advance by 11:30 a.m., the stock was still up by an impressive 11%. While the company didn't release any specific news (it will release second-quarter earnings after the close on Aug. 20), it was involved in the Canaccord Genuity 40th Annual Growth Conference. 

So what

GAN came public in May 2020, which would seem like a terrible time for an IPO. However, this technology company's products help facilitate online gambling, partnering with casino operators, among others. With COVID-19 leading to nonessential businesses being shut down, the demand for online options, even for a nonessential thing like gambling, has materially increased. Which is great for GAN's business. Notably, the company highlighted in its presentation at the Canaccord Genuity conference that it was able to get one customer (Cordish Group) up and running in just 72 days.  

A hand lifting up cards on a poker table filled with chips

Image source: Getty Images.

That's just one of the 10 or more launches it has lined up for 2020. The company executed just four launches in 2019, so there's notable business growth going on. With the pandemic pushing people online, GAN's future looks brighter today than when it came public not too long ago. But that's not the entire growth story, as more states are opening up to online gambling over the next several years. That should translate into more opportunities, too. Investors bid the shares up expecting good news throughout the rest of 2020 and beyond.   

Now what

GAN is still in growth mode, which means it is spending a lot of money and, so far anyway, earning very little. However, as it expands its customer base, that could easily change. Still, including today's gains, the stock is up 66% since its May IPO. Although it was publicly listed in the U.K. prior to its U.S. IPO, that's pricing in a lot of good news for a company that, basically, has yet to report earnings for the first time as a U.S.-listed company. Long-term investors should probably at least dig into the company's second-quarter earnings and listen to its conference call before jumping on this stock.