Entain completes acquisition of the esports-focused operator Unikrn

The online gambling giant Entain has completed its acquisition of the technology, products, platform, and brand of the esports operator Unikrn.

This comes after the deal was announced back in August of this year, which according to Entain, would help make the business a leader in esports.

Entain completes Unikrn purchase

Today, the online operator Entain announced that it has completed its acquisition of Unikrn.

The financial terms of the deal, which was announced back in August, are still undisclosed, however, Entain said that the agreement will pave the way for it to launch new esports-focused products in 2022.

Entain now owns the technology, products, platform, and brand from Unikrn.

According to the announcement, Unikrn’s 50-strong international team will stay with the business and lead its esports launch on a global scale.

Justin Dellario, who recently joined Entain from Twitch as Managing Director of Esports, is leading the push into this new market as part of a greater drive into interactive entertainment.

Justin Dellario said: “Entain is all about creating exciting and innovative products for our customers. With Unikrn, we’ll now be able to offer competitive gamers and esports fans alike rewarding experiences surrounding the games and events they love.”

Unikrn, which was founded in 2014 as an esports betting operator, offers a range of products include U-Mode that allows farmers to bet on tier own ranked marches. Another of the company’s popular products includes Streamer Bet, Unikrn’s AI-powered real-time for updating odds for betting on Twitch streams.

In the announcement, Entain said it will extend its safer gaming initiatives and player protections to new customers across skills-based wagering in sports, and interactive entertainment products. 

Through its not-for-profit Entain Foundation, the operator has also forged partnerships with external organisations to provide education and support to players at potential risk of gaming disorder. These include the Counter-Strike Professional Players Association, which represents professional players across esports, Kindbridge and Rise Above the Disorder.

What has Entain been up to?

The completion of the Unikrn acquisition comes as Entain confirmed it received a takeover proposal from the US sports betting giant DraftKings last month.

In September, Entain revealed it DraftKings made a £25 per share offer, comprised of cash and stock, however, the board rejected this offer.

DraftKings then returned with a new proposal of £28 per share on 19 September. This would be made of a cash portion of £6.30, with the rest being made up of Class A common shares. 

Based on the 585,591,361 Entain shares in issue as of 30 June 2021, this would value the business at £16.40bn.

Last month, the operator also announced a digital conversion of its retail businesses across the UK and Europe, updating several of its shops into new digital spaces.

The retail makeover will initially apply to Entain shops in the UK and Italy across the Ladbrokes, Coral, and Eurobet brands. According to the announcement, in both countries, Entain has run successful trials of new, contemporary store design and formats more closely aligned to customers’ online experience.

The new digital hubs will feature interactive displays, providing punters with more choices of interactive sports and gaming content. Venues will also trial live events and new promotions for customers.