Not content with a remarkable 22 consecutive quarters of double-digit growth, multi-channel Entain Plc. has just posted a handle of £7 billion (US$9.67bn/€8.24bn) in wagers across its sports portfolios in H1 and is now poised to take the world of esports to the next level.

FTSE-100 Entain recorded group revenues of £1.79 billion (US$2.47bn/€2.10bn) for the half, ending June 30, up 11 per cent year-on-year.

Estimating that the esports market, with over 450 million viewers, will be worth more than US$20 billion (£14.47bn/€17.03bn) by 2025, Entain has now agreed to acquire Unikrn, a leading esports betting and entertainment media company.

“Esports is now established as a mainstream sport, particularly amongst the 18-35 demographic,” said Entain in a company statement. “But existing operators lack scale, providing [us] with a clear opportunity in a new area related to our core expertise.”

Returning to H1 headline results, Entain declared an interim operating profit of £1.13 billion (US$1.56bn/€1.33bn), with a 12 per cent increase in EBITDA to £401 million (US$554.15m/€472.05m).

Online growth was the rockstar of the show with a 55 per cent increase in sportsbook revenues to £751 million (US$1.04bn/€884.06m).

But, thanks to pan-Europe Covid lockdowns in key markets, retail took a major hit with combined losses of £120 million (US$165.83m/€141.26m).

The group, nevertheless, has pledged £100 million (US$138.19m/€117.71m) to boost the company’s carbon-neutral environment programme.

“Entain has a long runway for sustainable growth built into our core business,” said Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen.

“Our unique powerful platform puts us at the heart of the convergence of media, entertainment and gaming, providing us with exciting opportunities in interactive entertainment that we believe will further power our growth for many years to come.

“By leveraging the opportunities in front of us, focusing on the customer and expanding, we have many years of growth ahead that will drive significant incremental value for our stakeholders.”

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