Unikrn purchase facilitates Entain’s launch into esports wagering

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Entain has completed the purchase of Unikrn assets as the gaming and sports betting firm looks to debut “innovative new esports products” for customers in 2022.

After initially detailing its acquisitive intentions earlier in the year, Entain outlined an intention to become “a world leader in sports betting, gaming, and interactive entertainment” spearheaded by the acquisition of the esports betting and skill-based wagering firm.

Entain has bought the technology, products, platform, and brand from Unikrn which, together with its 50-strong international team, will spearhead its launch on a global scale.  

Justin Dellario, who recently joined Entain from Twitch as managing director of esports, is leading the push into this new market as part of a greater drive into interactive entertainment. 

“Entain is all about creating exciting and innovative products for our customers. With Unikrn, we’ll now be able to offer competitive gamers and esports fans alike rewarding experiences surrounding the games and events they love,” Dellario said.

Unikrn boasts a suite of products and services, including u-mode, which enables gamers to bet on their own ranked matches in some of the world’s most competitive video game titles, and streamer bet, an AI-powered real-time updating odds for betting on Twitch streams.

“Esports is now established as a mainstream sport, with over 450 million gamers aged 18-35,” the company said in a media statement.   

“Entain believes that many of these have strong potential to become new customers in other areas of its business, recently noting that video gamers are more than four times more likely to participate in sports betting and igaming than others in the same demographic.”

Earlier this month, Entain delivered a trading update addressing its performance across Q3, as well as the year to date, which was buoyed by a 23rd consecutive month of double digit quarterly growth that brought a “strong performance” against a tough comparative period.

This saw group net gaming revenue rise four per cent for the July 1 to September 30 time frame, with online rising seven per cent and retail down one per cent, with UK volumes recovering toward pre-COVID-19 levels, and activity steadily rebuilding in Europe.

On a digital basis, Entain’s sports and gaming divisions demonstrated increases of 12 per cent and one per cent, respectively.