Entain Looks to World Cup Betting for Revenue Boost

By | October 13, 2022

The FIFA World Cup in Qatar is almost here, with the first competitions kicking off in slightly more than a month. When it does begin, gaming operator Entain is confident the international soccer tournament will bring great results to its sports betting operations.

2022 FIFA World Cup
A visitor takes a photo at the Al Thumama football stadium in Doha, Qatar, which will be a venue for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Entain expects the international soccer competition that begins next month to give its sports betting revenue a big boost. (Image: Bloomberg)

Entain provided an update on its financial health this week, reporting that the most recent quarter hasn’t been as positive as it had hoped. Online net gaming revenue (NGR) for the third quarter of the year was only up by 1% year on year.

That’s in spite of “record” activity from its users and a 10% growth in NGR for the retail segment. When soccer teams take the field for the World Cup on November 20, the Ladbrokes owner expects everything to improve.

Second-Half Downturn

Entain reported in July that its performance for the first half of the year was impressive, climbing 243% year on year. However, its online activity dropped, a trend that continued through the third quarter.

The period brought a year-on-year increase in revenue of around 90%, reaching over $400 million. This came at the tail end of the quarter, driven by the launch of the new NFL season.

Entain expects the upswing to continue through the end of the year. In addition to the start of NFL action, the MLB playoffs are here, and the NBA season tips off in less than a week. There are also international soccer and NHL games taking place right now, giving all sportsbooks reasons to celebrate.

As a result, and building on certain recent acquisitions, Entain predicts it will achieve net gaming revenue from sports betting of more than $1.3 billion. If it does, it will have grown the business by more than 50%. The company expects to be able to keep the momentum going well into the new year.

Part of the trouble in the third quarter, according to the company, was its inability to serve customers in the Netherlands. It pulled out of the market as the country introduced regulated online gaming, and expects to return before the end of the year.

That will be made possible by the acquisition of BetCity, which Entain announced earlier this year. If it can get the platform running properly in time, it could become an additional channel for World Cup sports betting.

Strategic Expansion the Key to Success

The Netherlands isn’t the only country where Entain is ready for a boost. It now owns Supersport, a large sports betting operator in Croatia, which it also expects to deliver outstanding results.

The Netherlands and Croatia are just two of the many European markets Entain’s subsidiaries can now serve. It also has purchased operators in Poland and Latvia.

In the west, Entain now owns Avid Gaming, the company behind Sports Interaction. The latter is reportedly the largest online gaming brand in Canada, giving Entain significant exposure in the country.

By any measure, the number of acquisitions in such a short time puts a strain on a company’s financial stability. But despite concerns over inflation and a possible recession, Entain isn’t slowing down. CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen confirmed that the company remains committed to increasing its footprint wherever it makes sense.

In the US, Entain is partnered with BetMGM, which has garnered a great deal of success in the market. It now controls 31% of the online sports betting segment. As such, and with continued growth in the region, Entain plans to make the most of that partnership as well.

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