Entain strikes CA$300m deal for Sports Interaction owner Avid Gaming

| By Marese O'Hagan
Entain has acquired Canadian sports betting operator Avid Gaming from Middlebrook Investments Limited in a CA$300m (£174.8m/USD$236.5m/€206.6m) deal.
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Avid Gaming is the owner of Canadian online sports betting brand Sports Interaction, which it leases exclusively to the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke and the Mohawk Online socioeconomic initiative. Sports Interaction operates in Canada through Mohawk Online, with offices in Kahnawà:ke and Ireland and a headquarters in Jersey.

It is a key supporter of the Mohawks of Kahnawà:ke, supporting cultural and language programmes, schools, healthcare and other public services, with 50% of its employees in the province native Mohawks. This support for the community will continue under Entain’s ownership.

The business has grown rapidly in recent years, with gross revenue up by around 40% year-on-year in 2021, to CA$76m, with earnings reaching CA$18m and pre-tax profit CA$17.4m for the same period.

Entain aims to strengthen its presence in Canada through the deal, with Sports Interaction joining its Bwin and Party brands in the market.

Avid Gaming’s chief executive Will Golby, alongside other members of the leadership team, will remain with Entain once the deal completes.

“Sports Interaction is the leading Canadian sports betting and gaming brand and is aligned perfectly with our own ambitions of great customer service and ambitious growth, coupled with an unwavering commitment to sustainability,” Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen said of the deal.

“It is highly complementary to our existing operations in Canada, and the combination of its local expertise and Entain’s powerful platform will provide customers with an unrivalled range of exciting and engaging products in this fast-growing market. We look forward to welcoming Will Golby and his team to Entain.”

It follows the operator applying for a gaming licence in the province of Ontario, which is due to open its borders to private operators from 4 April. A number of operators, including TheScore, PointsBet and Rivalry have already received operating licences from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario last week.

Online betting in the country, meanwhile, came to fruition after a bill repealing the country’s ban on single-event sports betting became law in June last year.

“We are delighted to be joining forces with Entain, which is an exceptional company combining world-class brands, strong leadership and a winning strategy,” Avid CEO Golby commented.

“It has a unique approach to local markets, and no other company of its scale consistently delivers so many well-executed, localised approaches to the same level of customisation and detail.”

Kahsennenhawe Sky-Deer, the grand chief of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke, added that Entain was a “world class operator with a genuine desire to positively contribute to the communities in which it operates”.

“This new partnership between Entain and the Mohawks of Kahnawà:ke is mutually beneficial, and brings with it prime opportunity for bolstering our self-sufficiency through the continuing success of Sports Interaction,” Sky-Deer added.

The combination is expected to deliver approximately CA$15m in synergies for Entain in 2023, through sharing technology, content and procurement efforts.

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