Entain, one of the world’s largest sports betting and gaming companies, announced Monday it has acquired Avid Gaming, giving it a possible entry into the Ontario sports betting market.
The deal is for $300 million Canadian or about $237 million U.S., according to a news release.
Entain has applied for an Ontario license, so this acquisition fits its growth strategy.
Avid Gaming is based in Jersey with offices in Mohawk Territory of Kahnawà:ke and Ireland. The company owns Sports Interaction, a top Canadian online sports betting brand, according to a news release.
“Sports Interaction is the leading Canadian sports betting and gaming brand and is aligned perfectly with our own ambitions of great customer service and ambitious growth, coupled with an unwavering commitment to sustainability,” Jette Nygaard-Andersen, CEO of Entain, said in a statement. “... The combination of its local expertise and Entain’s powerful platform will provide customers with an unrivaled range of exciting and engaging products in this fast-growing market.”
"It is highly complementary to our existing operations in Canada."
Avid Gaming exclusively licenses the Sports Interaction trademark and provides proprietary online betting and gaming products and services to the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (MCK) and the Mohawk Online socioeconomic initiative, the release said. Mohawk Online, which is wholly owned by the MCK, operates Sports Interaction in Canada.
Mohawk Online revenues are invested back into the community of Kahnawà:ke for cultural and language, schools, and healthcare programs, and other public services, the release said, and 50% of Avid Gaming employees in Kahnawà:ke are Mohawk.
Entain’s existing Canadian business comprises the Party and bwin brands, the release said.
April 4 Launch Date in Ontario
The launch of an open, regulated Ontario sports betting market is expected on April 4.
PointsBet Ontario Sportsbook and theScore bet Ontario announced on Feb. 3 they had been approved by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
The Ontario online casino market is also set to launch on April 4.
More on Sports Interaction
Sports Interaction has already built a nice runway to the launch, having experienced rapid growth in recent years. Gross revenues in 2021 increased by 40% year over year, to $76 million.
“We are delighted to be joining forces with Entain, which is an exceptional company combining world-class brands, strong leadership and a winning strategy,” Will Golby, CEO of Avid Gaming, said in the release. “It has a unique approach to local markets, and no other company of its scale consistently delivers so many well-executed, localised approaches to the same level of customisation and detail.“Entain’s commitment to sustainability, responsible gaming and community investment aligns exactly with our own business philosophy, and we look forward to a bright future together.”