Entain Sells Betdaq to Its Founder Dermot Desmond

Global sports betting and gaming group Entain announced it would be divesting its betting exchange business to its previous owner, billionaire Dermot Desmond.

Betdaq Sale Agreed

Entain said its Betdaq brand would be offloaded for an undisclosed fee after an agreement for the deal with Irish billionaire and former Betdaq owner Dermot Desmond had been reached.

We can confirm that Entain has agreed to sell the Betdaq business to Dermot Desmond for an undisclosed sum.”

Spokesman, Entain

Following the £3.8-billion ($5.1 billion) reverse takeover of Ladbrokes Coral by GVC Holdings in 2018, Betdaq became a property of the London AIM-listed group, which later rebranded to Entain, but Betdaq’s role in the group has always been questioned within the group that uses Ladbrokes and Coral as its flagship brands. Betdaq became a Ladbrokes property in 2013 after the business was acquired for €30 million ($40 million).

Irish billionaire Desmond established Betdaq in 2000 as a competitor to Flutter Entertainment and Betfair, which subsequently merged in 2002, but Betdaq has been struggling for liquidity to its main rival Betfair ever since its inception. In 2013, Desmond became a shareholder at Ladbrokes following the cash-plus-shares acquisition of Betdaq.

Desmond, whose career started in finance at Citibank before he founded NCB Stockbrokers. ultimately the country’s largest independent brokerage, has an estimated net worth of £1.5-billion ($2 billion) and is the majority shareholder of Celtic Football Club.

Entain did not provide details as to what price Desmond paid for the betting exchange brand, but sound logic dictates it should be far less than what he received for the brand back in 2013.

Despite recent initiatives undertaken by the management of Betdaq, like a 0% commission rate throughout Euro 2020 and last March’s Cheltenham Festival, as well as a flat 2% across all markets, Betdaq is still falling behind its main rivals Betfair, Matchbook and Smarkets and the sale of the brand was imminent.

Changes to Terms and Conditions

Customers at Betdaq were informed in an email of the upcoming changes to the ownership of the brand effective December 1, 2021, as from that date, Betdaq’s license will be transferred to another business entity, Exchange Platform Solutions Limited, which will then be sold.

Customer funds at Betdaq will be transferred from Ladbrokes separate trustee to Betdaq trustee in line with the guidelines of the UK Gambling Commission and funds will be held in a segregated account on behalf of Exchange Platform Solutions.

Upon logging into their accounts, Betdaq customers will be prompted to accept the terms and conditions of the new owner, Exchange Platform Solutions, if they wish to continue to use their accounts at Betdaq.

Entain was targeted by DraftKings in a $22-billion acquisition deal recently, but the deal did not materialize after Entain’s US joint venture with MGM Resorts BetMGM, a competitor of DraftKings, caused discord among its owners, with MGM seeking to buyout Entain’s share in BetMGM in case it accepted the offer.

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