Entain to acquire Unikrn tech, products and team in esports push

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the operator said the acquisition is subject to completion, and is set to close later this year.

Entain intends to use Unikrn’s technology to build a new platform for “skill-based wagering”.

Unikrn was founded in 2014 as an operator of esports betting. Entain said its technology and team would help it become a leader in esports.

“These, combined with our capabilities, analytics, regulatory experience, player protection and scale, provide a unique industry first platform to address this exciting and growing market,” it said.

In addition, Entain announced a number of other efforts to focus more on the Esports market. It appointed Justin Dellaro, formerly of streaming platform Twitch, as its new head of esports.

The business said it also saw a “clear opportunity” in social casino, but did not announce further initiatives in this area.

“Entain has built a powerful platform combining our industry leading technology, people and capabilities that is 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,” Entain chief executive Jette Nygaard-Andersson said.

“Our platform enables us to meet the evolving needs of our customers as we capitalise on the convergence of media, entertainment and gaming and extend into interactive entertainment. 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.”

Today, Entain also reported its financial results for the first half of 2021. The business made £1.77bn in revenue, despite a 34% downturn in Germany.

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