Inspired Entertainment has entered into a long term agreement with Entain plc, which was formerly GVC Holdings. As per the terms of this deal, Inspired will supply Entain with virtual sports products across all of Entain’s online brands and physical venues.
Inspired offers several award-winning virtual sports to more than 35 countries in the world. As one of the largest sports wagering and gaming companies in the world, Entain runs businesses in the online and retail casinos sector in more than 20 countries.
Entain offers an array of services through its proprietary technology platform that’s allied with iconic brands the likes of Gala, PartyPoker, Coral, BetMGM, Bwin, Sportingbet, PartyCasino, Ladbrokes, Eurobet, and Foxy Bingo. Some of the services offered on this platform include sports betting, casino, poker as well as online bingo.
Inspired and Entain have maintained a longstanding relationship for over 10 years now as it regards both online and retail gaming. Because of this strengthened partnership, Entain will now be able to expand into the North American market even further than it already has.
Meanwhile, US casino behemoth MGM Resorts International has withdrawn its offer to acquire Entain. MGM had proposed to acquire Entain for an estimated USD 11B, offering 0.6 shares for each Entain share as we’ve covered here. Had the deal been accepted, it would have left Entain’s stakeholders with only 42% of the company.
As such, Entain opted to forego the offer stating that MGM’s offer would considerably undervalue the company or any prospects it may have. Entain and MGM already run BetMGM together, which is now the 3rd most popular sports betting app trailing FanDuel and DraftKings.
The proposed acquisition was rejected weeks after Entain CEO Shay Segev resigned for greener pastures as we’ve covered here. Segev is now finishing off his 6 months’ notice to Entain before he moves on to join global sports OTT platform DAZN. As a replacement, Entain recently announced that his position would be filled by Jette Nygaard-Andersen as we’ve discussed here.
Jette Nygaard-Andersen, served as one of Entain’s non-executive directors before her appointment, thus effectively making her the 6th female in charge of an FTSE 100 business. Some of the other women in similar capacities include Alison Rose at NatWest Group, Alison Brittain at Whitbread, Milena Mondini de Focatiis who recently took the helm at the insurance company Admiral, Liv Garfield at Severn Trent, and Emma Walmsley at GlaxoSmithKline.
As the new CEO, Nygaard-Andersen’s main focus will be expanding Entain’s business in the country. the US gambling and sports wagering market in the country is set to take off in a major way this year as more and more states continue to welcome the idea of a legalized sports betting market.
In her role as the woman in charge, she will have to ensure that Entain exploits all the opportunities that present itself in the thriving market. As Entains looks towards the upcoming opportunities in the soon to be regulated markets, Nygaard-Andersen will also spearhead Entain’s responsible gaming mandate.
Entain had a good 2020
Entain’s Q4 revenue shot up by 7% in Q4 earnings owing to a spike in online gaming. Online net gaming improved by 41% compared to the same period last year. Entain’s sports betting revenue also saw an improvement of 59%.
Like most other businesses in the gambling sphere, Entain’s operations, particularly brick and mortar ones, were severely affected by the pandemic. The operator’s retail operators in Europe and UK faired off worse than its North American operators. That’s because the UK was forced to go into lockdown several times during which period retail casinos remained shut.
As a result of the interruptions, the UK revenue dropped by 38% while the European side of the business experienced a decline of 57%. Though the group was expecting to perform a lot better pre-pandemic, Entain has proven its strength during an exceptionally challenging year, which is a testament to its staying power in the North American gambling space.
2021 should be a good year for Entain’s sports betting business
This year, more states are seriously considering legalizing their sports betting markets in a bid to fill up the gaping financial hole that’s been left by the pandemic. All the 4 big states are predicted to legalize sports betting in some form this year, which will spell great returns for Entain.
Specifically, rumors have been floating around for some time now that New York is considering legalizing sports betting and iGaming before the year is out. California made some serious effort to have its industry legalized in 2020 but it was unsuccessful thanks to resistance from the local tribal casinos. As such, it appears that California might not have sports until much later in 2022.
Texas has also been the subject of speculation because its legislature is finally due to meet in 2021. Florida doesn’t seem to be showing any signs that it will legalize its sports betting market but operators are remaining hopeful. Ohio, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Georgia are some of the other states that are considering legalizing the industry.
As Entain’s and MGM’s joint venture, BetMGM continues its quest for market dominance, it will want to establish itself as a leader to watch out for in these soon-to-be legalized sports betting markets. It already has a lot of competition that it has to deal with but as the 3rd most popular sportsbook in the country, this shouldn’t be too difficult a task for the brand.
The sports betting market in the country is quickly becoming saturated, but this could only produce positive results of online bettors in the country. The increase competition among operators will force them to offer bettors better odds in sports wagering, which will make the experience much better for the modern-day bettor.