Arguably the biggest online gambling group in the world, Entertain (formerly GVC Holdings) is looking to make yet another acquisition through its Bwin Holdings subsidiary.
At the turn of the year, Entain rebuffed several bids from US casino and entertainment behemoth MGM who were looking to add Entain’s multitude of over 25 brands to its portfolio and in one move position itself as the leading US online gambling company. This, had it been successful would have sky-rocketed MGM into the stratosphere creating the biggest gambling entertainment company in the world, in both the land-based and online gambling industries.
It appears Entain had other plans, after knocking back a final offer of $11 billion from the US company.
Merely a month later and Entain is now going on the attack, continuing with their aggressive expansion plans. The company under the spotlight is the Baltic online gambling whale, Enlabs.
After having an initial offer of £250 million rejected, the online gambling giant has returned with an improved counter of £316 million.
It has been recommended to Enlabs by their own independent committee that they accept the improved bid that is on the table. CFO and deputy CEO of Entain, Rob Wood indicated that it is the ambition of Entain to take the revolution of sports betting and online gambling to the next level and improve on their current world leader status by creating an unrivalled customer experience.
He also highlighted how competitive that the industry is right now and based on the fact that Entain is able to provide the foundations to build further can help to significantly scale Enlab’s already burgeoning brand.
Who are Enlabs and what do they do?
Enlabs is a shortened name of two combined words - Entertainment Laboratories. The biggest iGaming operator in the Baltic region, they also have their own proprietary technology which means that this helps to give them a unique selling point in their market.
Launched in 2005, Enlabs have swiftly grown into the leading online gambling company in north eastern Europe, particularly in Latvia and Lithuania where the business has had considerable traction over the last few years.
Enlabs also have a numberof brands under their umbrella, which if the bid by Entain is accepted would see them add substantially to their portfolio and really gain a significant foothold in previously untapped regions.
Such brands include Optibet, which has been the recipient of numerous awards over the years which has only helped it surge in credibility and reputation. The technology that Enlabs has built added to the expertise that it has at its disposal has seen it become a leader in the regions that they operate in.
What are the benefits for Entain should this deal go through?
Although Entain are undoubtedly the world leader in the online gambling industry, part of their strategic commercial model will be the identification of new markets as they attempt to make sure that they have easier inroads to these.
The acquisition of Enlabs will certainly help to make sure that they can gain a strong grip in countries such as Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, especially as new legislation becomes approved which can lead to further opportunities.
From a cross-marketing opportunity, this would also make a good degree of sense. Being able to converge its current brands with those that Enlabs own can help these become popular in these countries - even in different sectors of the industry such as live casino.
This is just another example of a global power player looking to flex its muscles and beat its competitors to potentially another lucrative revenue stream where new players are concerned.
There is no doubt that Entain will be lining up more deals across the wider European marketplace in this industry and the acquisition Enlabs will provide the platform for it to do that.
Written for Onlinecasino-Australia.com by Martin Jones - Published on 02-03-2021