Publish Date: 13/08/2021
Fact checked by: Sophie McCarthy
Parent company of Coral Bookmakers, Ladbrokes, and titan in the British and European betting industry, Entain is continuing their expansion into world of esports. Figures released by the company shows that they think the interactive gaming market could grow to over $20 billion in net worth by the middle of the decade.
Now, in a move that will place them in North America as well as the esports betting market, they have acquired Unikrn.
Entain has always been a giant in the western betting industry, especially in Europe and the UK. Now it looks like they are making some major changes that will refocus their efforts towards and younger and more global audience.
Unikrn is a very popular esports betting sites in the market right now. They are always on the bleeding edge of the industry and often are one of the first sites to adopt new innovations. We don’t know the exact figures of the acquisition, but Entain has claimed that they want to invest over £50 million into esports over the next few years. Now, that I probably not the total of the acquisition but at least a portion of it will be spent on Unikrn.
The deal has not finished but it should be completed by the end of 2021 pending authorisation and agreement by both parties.
In the same announcement from Entain noting their acquisition of Unikrn, they also spoke about their newest high level appointment. They have hired the former head of esports at the streaming company Twitch, Justin Dellario, to lead the new esports division that was created for the acquisition of Unikrn.
As the head of esports at Entain, he will manage the newly acquired Unikrn and work with the management team to plan any future moves that the company will make in the world of esports. He has 15 years of experience in the esports industry and I expect him to spearhead even more moves into the esports sector.
Entain’s CEO, Jette Nygaard-Andersen, spoke about their plans to grow in the esports market:
“Entain has built a powerful platform combining our industry-leading technology, people, and capabilities that are driving significant growth in our existing markets, including the US, but also enables us to grow into new and emerging markets and opportunities related to our core areas of expertise. Our platform enables us to meet the evolving needs of our customers as we capitalize on the convergence of media, entertainment, and gaming and extend into interactive entertainment. All together this means the markets we address have the potential to be several times larger than today."
“One exciting opportunity is the growing esports skill-based wagering market. We are building the first scalable platform to address this market and I am delighted that Justin Dellario is joining us to lead our growth in this new area.”
“By leveraging the opportunities in front of us, focusing on the customer and expanding our acquisition funnel by creating powerful customer engagement flywheel effects, we have many years of growth ahead that will drive significant incremental value for our stakeholders.”
Entain has chosen a good esports betting operator to acquire. Unikrn have won Best Esports Operator of the Year at the EGR Operator Awards for two years running and have dominated the US betting scene ever since they began operating under their own licence back in 2019.
Like most esports betting sites, they have a tech and innovation based approach to growth and have integrated plenty of new services to attract bettors. Entain has acquired a company that is leading the charge in the esports betting worls.