Ladbrokes and Coral owner Entain braces itself for regulation and take over speculation despite World Cup profit boost
Ladbrokes and Coral owner Entain has forecast regulatory headwinds as it revealed a 13 per cent rise in profits driven by punters betting during the Qatar World Cup.
Entain posted profits of £993.2m up 13 per cent from £881.7m in the same period last year.
As the group continues its expansion in the US market through its platform BetMGM, total revenues rose 12 per cent to £4.2bn up from £3.8bn in 2021.
The parent firm which owns gambling giants like Labrokes revealed that profit before tax fell to £321m compared to £527m the year before.
It comes as tougher regulation for the gambling industry is set to pose a challenge for the sector. This month, the government is set to release a review of regulations to the £100bn industry – which could see an end to front-of-shirt sponsorships for premier league teams and tighter financial checks for consumers.
“As we look to 2023, while we continue to face some regulatory headwinds, we remain excited by the opportunities ahead,” Jette Nygaard-Andersen, chief of Entain, said.
He continued: “As we continue to deliver on our strategy we will provide customers with even more innovative and engaging moments of excitement, and drive further diversification through geographic expansion, product development and a broader customer base.”
Lara Martinez, analyst, at investor research firm Third Bridge said Entain had been facing mounting investor pressure, as well as take over speculation. She said rising player protection measures in Europe were not going to help.
“The business opportunity in America looks much brighter.”
“Nebraska and Maine are likely to go live by H2 2023. Georgia, Kentucky, and Minnesota are possibilities, whereas Missouri and North Carolina could stall. This could deliver 15 to 20 per cent growth.”
“Entain’s biggest opportunity is in the online sports betting space. The Super Bowl betting record proves huge potential. Our experts say that Entain also needs to move beyond the NFL season and capitalize on other events throughout the annual sporting calendar.”
“Our experts suspect MGM might still harbour some interest in acquiring Entain but it will be waiting on the UK’s White Paper before making a decision.”