Entain, the global sports betting and gaming leader, announced that it has agreed to acquire Unikrn, the esports betting, and entertainment company. The company has also appointed Justin Dellario, formerly employed by Twitch, who will spearhead the company into the esports field.
Entain Announces Plans to Acquire Unikrn
Entain, the world’s largest sports betting and gaming group, announced today that it has agreed to acquire the technology platform, products, and team of Unikrn. The esports betting and entertainment company Unikrn was founded in November 2014. Currently based in Seattle, Washington, the company offers wagering on esports. Although Entain revealed that it has agreed to acquire Unikrn, the giant said that the acquisition is subject to completion and is expected to happen later this year.
Currently, Entain did not reveal further details regarding the deal itself. However, the company outlined that its capabilities, regulatory experience, player protection, and scale combined with the acquisition present an opportunity for creating a “unique industry-first platform” to address the growing and exciting esports market.
Entain acknowledged that the esports market has more than 450 million viewers, mainly within the 18-35 demographic. Seeing that existing operators lack the scale of providing skill-based wagering for casual esports games, Entain saw this as a clear opportunity to grow.
Justin Dellario Joins Entain as Head of Esports
While today Entain announced its interim results, marking a strong first half of 2021, the company also revealed that it hired the services of Justin Dellario. Dellario was appointed as ahead of esports and will spearhead the company’s efforts within the esports field. Formerly, Dellario was employed by Twitch, which is the world’s most famous live streaming platform for gamers. Entain acknowledged that he brings significant knowledge and experience. In his new position as head of esports, Dellario will report to Sameer Deen, who recently joined the company as chief strategy officer and president of new ventures.
Besides the esports field, Entain revealed that it saw a clear opportunity within the casual mobile gaming market. The company acknowledged that that market has been growing rapidly in the last few years. According to Entain, different categories align with the company’s strategy, and one of those is Social Casino. Entain estimated that combining the esports wagering endeavor with social casino opportunities may result in accumulating more than $20 billion for the company by 2025.
Entain’s CEO Comments on the Latest Announcement
Commenting on the topic, Entain’s CEO, Jette Nygaard-Andersen, revealed that the company had built a powerful platform that combines capabilities, people, as well as leading industry technology. According to her, this technology enables the company to continue growing within existing markets and seize new opportunities in emerging markets and other areas related to its expertise.
“One exciting opportunity is the growing esports skill-based wagering market.”Jette Nygaard-Andersen, CEO, Entain
Nygaard-Andersen explained that with the help of its platform, Entain could meet the evolving needs of its customer base and extend into interactive entertainment. Combining all those factors, according to her, means that markets have the potential “to be several times larger than today.”
Entain’s CEO said that joining the esports skill-based wagering market is an exciting opportunity. She added that Entain is building the industry’s first scalable platform. Addressing Dellario’s appointment, Nygaard-Andersen said that she is delighted that he is joining to help lead the growth within the area.