Entain to acquire Unikrn for £50m, names Head of Esports

13 August 2021


Global sports-betting, gaming and interactive entertainment group Entain has agreed to purchase esports betting company Unikrn for a reported £50m.

Entain plans to acquire Unikrn’s technology platform, products and team, citing a lack of existing scale among skill-based wagering platforms. The purchase price was originally reported by The Times in London.

Entain Unikrn
Pictured: Entain’s new Head of Esports, Justin Dellario

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Entain has further announced the appointment of Justin Dellario as its new Head of Esports. Most recently, Dellario served as VP of Content and Esports for Twitch and as a panellist for the Esports Awards.

During the company’s Investor Day held on August 12th, Entain estimated that the esports wagering and social casino-related markets could add an incremental $20bn+ in addressable markets by 2025.

Jette Nygaard-Andersen, Entain’s CEO, commented: “Entain has built a powerful platform combining our industry-leading technology, people and capabilities that is driving significant growth in our existing markets, including the U.S., but also enables us to grow into new and emerging markets and opportunities related to our core areas of expertise.

“One exciting opportunity is the growing esports skill-based wagering market. We are building the first scalable platform to address this market and I am delighted that Justin Dellario is joining us to lead our growth in this new area.”

RELATED: The growing link between esports betting and casinos

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Entain recently entered into a joint venture with MGM Resorts, through BetMGM, to capitalise on the sports betting and gaming in the U.S. Entain provides technology that powers BetMGM and exclusive games and products, developed at its in-house gaming studios. Unikrn partnered with MGM back in 2017 to bring live esports competitions to the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. 

The company said that its ‘capabilities, analytics, regulatory experience, player protection and scale’ provide a unique industry-first platform to address the ‘exciting and growing market’.

Esports Insider says: Esports may be a $1bn industry, but esports betting sits at around $14bn. It’s no wonder, then, that sports betting and casino brands have jumped at a chance to put ‘some skin in the game.’

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