Good and Bad News for Entain

Entain have announced their results for the first three months of 2022. The good news for them is that net gaming revenue rose by 31 per cent. However, it wasn’t such good news for online revenues as they fell by eight per cent.

The increase in their first quarter revenue was helped by two major factors. The company, who owns bookmakers such as Coral, Ladbrokes and Bwin, have been expanding joint ventures in the USA. Another factor was the end of the times when the pandemic caused their High Street bookmakers shops to be closed.

The inability to go to the local bookies led to online revenues rising. With the shops back open again, this is the second quarter in a row that online figures have fallen.

While that is a problem that may well continue, companies such as Entain are continuing to do well in the USA. There continues to be states legalizing sports betting and that is good news for bookmakers on both sides of the pond.

Entain are working with BetMGM (the sports betting arm of MGM Resorts) in the USA and now operate in 23 markets. The first quarter of 2022 has seen four openings, hence the good figures. The boss of Entain is Jette Nygaard-Anderson who is pleased with the way business is going on the other side of the Atalantic.

Nygaard-Anderson said that the recent launches in the USA means they now have access to over 41 per cent of the US adult population. Last year BetMGM made a loss, but a core profit is expected to be achieved in 2022. At present though they are now in second place in the USA in terms of market share where they operate.

The past two years has seen Entain withhold dividend payments. They are busy spending money making acquisitions and have an eye on the way the gambling business is expected to develop in the future.

Millions of pounds is being sent on developing products that will see them become a major player in the Metaverse with virtual reality systems a key part of this. Just over £100 million is being spent with the aim of turning Entain into a “global innovation hub”

That huge investment will be used to develop applications for NFTs, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Nygaard-Anderson said of the investment that Entain “want to lead the way with new exciting products and experiences for customers.”

Success in the USA may be necessary for Entain. While the gambling business is expanding there (and in Canada), the same might not be the case in the UK. Increased regulation is a distinct possibility in the near future and that could cause problems that may well affect their UK businesses.