Entain, the leading global sports betting, gaming, and interactive entertainment operator, has completed its acquisition of the assets of Unikrn, a leader in esports betting and skill-based wagering. The deal paves the way for Entain to launch innovative new esports products for customers in 2022.
Entain has bought the technology, products, platform, and brand from Unikrn which, together with its 50-strong international team, will spearhead its 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.
Unikrn is known for a suite of products and services, including U-Mode, which stands out in the market for enabling gamers to bet on their own ranked matches in some of the world’s most competitive video game titles, and Streamer Bet, their AI-powered real-time updating odds for betting on Twitch streams.
“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,” Justin Dellario said.
Esports is now established as a mainstream sport, with over 450 million gamers aged 18-35. Entain believes that many of these have strong potential to become new customers in other areas of its business, recently noting that video gamers are more than four times more likely to participate in sports-betting and iGaming than others in the same demographic.
Entain 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 Group 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.