Entain tightens guidelines all year despite stricter regulations

Entain, the owner of Ladbrokes and Bwin, raised the end of its lower earnings guidance even as the betting company faces tighter regulation and finds it difficult to sustain growth due to a surge in gaming. play online during the 2020 outage.

On Thursday, the company narrowed its guidance for full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization from £850m to 900m to around £875m to £885m.

The betting group benefits from “strong growth” across all of its online markets in 2021, with the exception of Germany, where new gambling laws require players to comply with number limits. the money they deposit and bet on online slot machines.

Entain’s latest forecast comes a day after it announced a dramatic improvement in the outlook for BetMGM, its joint venture with US casino group MGM, which it said will become profitable in 2023. despite the huge marketing costs US operators incur as they scramble for new customers. specified states.

BetMGM is “a special highlight,” says chief executive Jette Nygaard-Andersen.

The company continues to “see significant growth opportunities” with “approximately $160 billion in total addressable market across our new and existing markets, as well as in similar entertainment sectors.” emerging work,” she added.

Bill Hornbuckle, chief executive officer of MGM, said Wednesday that he is “delighted” to integrate BetMGM further into MGM’s loyalty program and land-based casinos. Analysts say this could signal MGM’s intention to buy out half of Entain’s joint venture or seek a second takeover of Entain.

MGM offered £8 billion to Entain last January but was rejected by the Entain board. low valuation company.

Betting companies are increasingly turning their attention to the fast-growing US market, where a federal ban on sports betting and online gaming was overturned in 2018. There are currently about 30 states that offer sports betting and 18 that allow online betting.

In contrast, more mature European markets including Germany, the Netherlands and the UK have begun tightening regulations in an effort to combat gambling addiction.

Entain Flutter’s opponent said in November that unfavorable sports results and stricter gambling laws mean its full-year earnings will be lower than expected.

Entain has focused on diversifying its business model and says it plans to invest an additional £25m in ‘new opportunities’ including its first eSports betting business. its own in 2022.

It said digital growth has been driven by a 25% increase in active players across its brands.

Although net online gaming revenue for the full year was up 12% from 2020, the company said it faced tough comparative numbers in the quarter to the end of December due to closures. doors and restrictions on its main markets in 2020, which has encouraged bored gamblers at home to gamble online. Online NGR is down 9% over the period but Entain said it still “beyond expectations”.

Greg Johnson, an analyst at Shore Capital, said that the reopening of retail betting shops, where revenue grew 60% year-over-year in the fourth quarter, would be “a significant delta”. ” for Entai’s year-round operation.

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