The gambling giant acquired Unikrn in October 2021 as part of a strategy to strengthen its esports business. Entain then relaunched the brand in December 2022 and set out plans to launch in more regulated markets around the world.
However, less than 12 months after the relaunch, Entain has seemingly applied the brakes to this effort. In a statement to iGB, Entain says that it will be scaling back direct-to-consumer operations within Unikrn.
“This is to ensure that our business is structured as effectively as possible and so that we can best deliver on our strategy and growth plans,” Entain says.
“Unikrn has developed an industry-leading offer around esports betting. We see significant opportunities to leverage these capabilities through our existing global brands.”
Entain did not disclose any further details about Unikrn and the future of the division.
Focus on M&A for Entain
The statement comes on the back of Entain completing its latest acquisition as part of an ongoing M&A strategy.
Last week, Entain completed its acquisition of sports modelling, forecasting and analytics specialist Angstrom Sports. The deal is valued at up to £203.0m (€234.7m/$247.2m), with Entain paying an initial £81.0m.
Meanwhile, Entain has signed off on a series of M&A bolt-on deals, including Angstrom last week.
In June, Entain purchased Tiidal Gaming NZ, owner of esports betting developer Sportsflare for CA$13.2m. This meant it added a number of betting products optimised for esports – alongside Unikrn.
Earlier this year, Adam Greenblatt, who has led the BetMGM venture since its formation in 2018, spoke to iGB about the importance of tech and product-focused deals in the industry.