Entain Plc has announced that it will reposition the business of its Unikrn esports venture, scaling down its B2C operations.
This weekend, Entain communicated to media partners that it had shut down Unikrn’s affiliate programme, after which the esports betting platform would stop taking customer deposits from 9 October.
Entain issued the following statement on Unikrn’s closure of its B2C operations: “We can confirm that we are repositioning our esports offering and scaling back our direct-to-consumer operations with Unikrn.
“This is to ensure that our business is structured as effectively as possible, and so that we can best deliver on our strategy and growth plans. Unikrn has developed an industry-leading offer around esports betting, and we see significant opportunities to leverage these capabilities through our existing global brands.”
Entain acquired Unikrn in October 2021, investing in the Silicon Valley-based esports betting platform in a move to diversify the wagering capabilities of the FTSE100 group’s sportsbook portfolio.
Unikrn was founded in 2014 by former Microsoft Ventures partner Rahul Sood as the first dedicated betting platform for burgeoning esports audiences.
Having chosen to close Unikrn’s B2C business, Entain provided no information on how it plans to utilise its remaining esports business.
The downsizing of Unikrn follows last week’s announcement by TSX-listed Real Luck Group that it had terminated the B2C unit of Luckbox – an esports wagering platform that could not secure new capital investment to proceed with its B2C offering.
Entain continues to diversify and strengthen its sportsbook capabilities, having recently acquired US sports modelling and pricing specialist Angstrom Sports for £200m – a buyout necessary for Entain’s BetMGM joint venture to increase its market share and profitability in the US sportsbook market.