March Madness seems to get better every year, and the 2022 version has not disappointed. Some favorites have dominated, while others have been dumped out much sooner than expected. Every tournament needs a Cinderella, and Saint Peter’s is one of the most heartwarming underdogs in recent memory. This tournament has shown that anything can happen, and US bettors have had a great time trying to predict these games and sometimes making great profits.
Ladbrokes and Coral bookmakers owner, gambling group Entain has made a move into the esports industry with the acquisition of esports betting group Unikrn earlier this week. Unikrn is a Seattle-based startup that leads the Esports betting platform. It is reported that Entain agreed to pay £50 (nearly $70 million) for the purchase.
UK gambling giant Entain is one of the pioneering gambling organizations to explore the esports industry. Planning to invest more than $70 million into the development of their esports platform this year. It is not surprising with esports being one of the fastest growing industries at the moment with its Generation Z demographic.
The Esports Industry
This growth has meant the industry has attracted increasingly high advertising revenue. Increasing from $143 million in 2018 to $196 million in 2020 just in the US. With the global esports sector to be worth a reported $2 billion in revenue by 2022.
Entain’s CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen said: We could look at tripling our business, just looking at how this market will multiply. It is all about more spending, more engagement, and more fun for customers.
Entain estimates that the interactive gaming market could be worth more than $20 billion in addressable market share by 2025. With the entire sports betting, igaming, and interactive gaming market reaching $160 billion.
Justin Dellario, previous head of esports at steaming company Twitch, has been employed as head of the new esports division at Entain. Nygaard-Andersen described Dellario as a rockstar in the industry with over 15 years of experience. Stating the best way to succeed in the esports community is to grow a business already in that community, and that’s what this recruitment has shown.
MGM And Entain Joint Venture
The acquisition was announced after Entain posted their second-quarter earnings that surprised many, raising its forecast.
This quarter saw Entain and BetMGM joint venture see a second-place market position in the US for sports betting, reporting a 12% increase in revenues up to $2.5 billion compared to the same time last year. Pre-tax profits also improved, rising 274% to $342 million, this was driven by a foreign exchange gain.
The company is looking to compete with Flutter, owner of FanDuel and FoxBet, to become the US market leader. Entain is targeting a market share of 20-25% in the US, which would be worth $6-$8 billion in annual revenue. Nygaard-Andersen stated next year we should reach about 30-33% of the US audience, and that’s still a long way until we reach maturity here at Entain.
Entain’s venture with BetMGM is in partnership with casino company MGM Resorts International, which operates in twelve regulated states currently with the view to have moved into twenty by this time next year.
Despite this joint venture together, MGM Resorts have expressed their desire to own Entain outright. So much so that the Las-Vegas based casino giants made an $11 billion bid to buy them earlier this year. With Entain’s board claiming the bid was significantly undervalued. It is expected MGM is still highly interested, and another bid could be in the works for Entain’s technology and global market exposure.
This acquisition of Unikrn by Entain will make esports even more entertaining with the ability to place bets on the games. With the PASPA law being struck down in 2018, select US states have now regulated sports and esports betting. Residents of these states can now bet on these esports events alongside in a safe and legal manner. BestAppBet provides you with the best variety of all legal sportsbook apps, including BetMGM, with you being able to choose which is best for you! If you have any uncertainties about what is legal in your state, visit BestAppBet’s state pages to view the legal gambling status in your state.
So visit Best App Bet today, sign up and claim your free bets to take part in any upcoming esports events!
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