Business By The Books: US Sports Betting Bright Spot For Entain

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Entain issued an trading update last Monday that noted US sports betting as a positive amid other international segments.

The launch of single wallet and other sportsbook enhancements have supported a “strong start” to the NFL season for BetMGM, Entain said in the release.

BetMGM, which Entain owns 50% of with MGM Resorts, continues to “perform well” for Entain and remains on track for positive second half EBITDA. Most sportsbooks do not expect a positive third quarter given marketing expenses related to customer acquisition for NFL betting.

BetMGM should also see full year net gaming revenue “at the upper end” of the $1.8 billion to $2 billion guidance.

Sports betting outcomes dragging results

Entain flagged sports results from September that are impacting margins. 888, which operates SI Sportsbook in the US, also noted customer friendly results across the UK and international markets in its own trading update.

Entain also noted the implementation of safer gambling measures UK regulatory changes impacted the quarter. The company is also seeing slower growth than expected in Australia and Italy.

GAN CEO Smurfit steps down

Longtime GAN CEO Dermot Smurfit stepped down on Monday, the company announced in an 8-K filing. He also resigned from the board.

GAN will tap its chairman, Seamus McGill, as interim CEO.

A consulting arrangement with Smurfit is under evaluation.

Circa launches sports betting in Illinois

Circa Sportsbook is now live in its fourth state after launching in Illinois Friday.

Director of Operations Jeffrey Benson tweeted that this is technically a soft launch and asked for anyone experiencing issues to email Circa.

There will be a grand opening party at Full House‘s American Place featuring former Chicago Bear Brian Urlacher.

ESPN continues to hit new highs

ESPN is on a hot streak of record engagement as the launch of ESPN Bet draws closer.

There were 112.6 million unique digital visitors in total, which gave the brand its 18th straight month in the top spot, according to data cited from Comscore.

That total was good for 50% of total US traffic in the sports category. CBS Sports was second with 31%.

Penn Entertainment and Disney plan to launch ESPN Bet in November.

FanDuel parent buys into Serbian operator

Flutter will pay $150 million for 51% of Serbian operator MaxBet with an opportunity to buy the other 49% in 2029.

MaxBet is the second ranked sportsbook in Serbia, according to Flutter’s release. The company generated nearly $34 million in adjusted EBITDA on $153 million of regulated revenue in the 12 months ending June 30.

Buying into MaxBet gives FanDuel‘s parent company an “enhanced competitive position” in the growing Serbian market, the company said.

The acquisition should close in the first quarter of 2024.

Elys launches in New Mexico

Elys Game Technology launched a sportsbook at the Santa Claran Casino in Española, New Mexico.

The launched at the Santa Clara Pueblo-owned casino is one of the first for its Elys America brand.