According to a Thursday report from the Financial Times newspaper, the London-listed firm revealed that the purchase will cost it around £50 million ($69.1 million), which is to include expenses associated with further developing the acquisition’s eSports platform so as to be better able to exploit a market widely considered to be worth approximately £1.4 billion ($2 billion).
Previously known as GVC Holdings until undergoing a late-2020 name change, Entain is already responsible for a slew of online casino and sportsbetting domains that include Ladbrokes.com, Bwin.com, Coral.co.uk and Sportingbet.com as well as its home nation’s Ladbrokes and Coral-branded chains of high street bookmakers. The newspaper reported that the company will now become the first major gambling enterprise to take a significant step into the eSports and video gaming arenas as regulations in large European markets tighten.
At the same time as publicizing its imminent purchase of Unikrn Incorporated and Entain reportedly explained that it has hired the former eSports head for live streaming pioneer Twitch, Justin Dellario, to lead its new video games foray. Jette Nygaard-Andersen took over from Shay Segev as Chief Executive Officer for the Isle of Man-based behemoth in January and purportedly described her firm’s latest recruit as ‘a bit of a rock star’ in the industry thanks to his over 15 years of experience in eSports.
Nygaard-Andersen reportedly told the newspaper…
“eSports is a community and the way to succeed here is to grow a business that is already in that community. This is our starting point for building a fully integrated platform for eSports betting.”
The Financial Times reported that eSports generated advertising revenues in the United States alone last year of around £141 million ($196 million), which equates to a swell of about 37% when compared with 2018’s figure of some $103 million ($143 million). Entain itself purportedly forecast that the global interactive gaming market could well be worth more than £14 billion ($20 billion) by the end of 2025 as it becomes ever more attractive to the increasingly tech-savvy ‘Generation Z’ demographic.
Entain is reportedly furthermore eager to ramp up its presence in the lucrative North American sportsbetting market via the Roar Digital enterprise it runs in partnership with prominent casino operator MGM Resorts International. This joint venture is purportedly responsible for the BetMGM-branded online sportsbook that is currently available to punters in twelve states but may have gone live in as many as eight more jurisdictions by this time next year.