MGM to Consider New Entain Bid after UK White Paper

24.01.2023

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Carl Hughes Betting Expert

Updated:January 24, 2023

Sources close to the betting and gaming industry have revealed that leading casino provider MGM may be preparing to make a new bid to acquire sports betting group Entain. It has been rumoured that MGM is biding its time and awaiting the publishing of a crucial White Paper on gambling in the United Kingdom which may redefine the betting and gaming industry in the country.

MGM and Entain are about to reach the end of a successful 5-year partnership which saw the creation of BetMGM, a joint venture which benefited from MGM’s established and loyal customer base in the United States, and Entain’s vast experience in the online sports betting arena. In the last 5 years, MGM has grown and expanded rapidly and industry experts believe that the company is now ready to acquire Entain Group, which would provide the UK casino giant with unrivalled influence and reach in the United Kingdom and Europe.

Currently, Entain owns some of the biggest UK sports betting providers, such as the oldest UK bookmaker – Ladbrokes, and betting and gaming giant Coral. Other UK sports betting sites which are part of Entain Group and feature in our full ranking of UK Online Bookmakers for 2023 include Bwin, Sportingbet, and Gamebookers. Entain is a trusted brand in the UK and internationally, and bettors know that they can expect excellent customer service both in physical location and online, via any device they choose to use. In addition to unbeatable odds and industry-leading feature and services, the companies which are part of Entain group offer outstanding introductory offers for new customers, such as Sportingbet’s current “Up to £50 in free bets”.

The White Paper on the Gambling Act in the UK is expected to be published in February 2023. This comprehensive review of the Act, and of the betting and gaming industry in the country, is expected to update and modernise some of the rules and legislation, especially in areas such as affordability checks, marketing restrictions, and wagering limits. One of the main goals of the White Paper would be to further minimise the risk of gambling harm to bettors, and to ensure that the industry is a safe, enjoyable, and responsible pastime for all.

The publishing of the White Paper is anticipated to bring about change, and industry experts expect that this may be associated with a period of uncertainty for sports betting operators who will have to quickly adjust to the new rules and regulations and implement them across their systems. These changes and instability may be favourable for US-based MGM and any potential acquisition bid, especially if the White Paper causes a temporary drop in Entain’s stock prices.

In addition to its UK companies, Entain has an appealing list of European assets which is certain to appeal to MGM. Through a series of deals in the last five years, Entain has expanded and now owns companies such as Lithuania-based Optibet, BetCity Netherlands, Bet.pt in Portugal, and SuperBet Croatia. In total, Entain owns 25 online and physical sports betting providers across 33 jurisdictions. It is not clear what MGM will decide to do with these companies should it acquires Entain, however they certainly will play an important part in any potential acquisition deal between the two sports betting and gaming giants.

Betting and gaming industry experts and analysts agree that one thing is certain – the two companies will continue to operate in some form of partnership. If an acquisition is not on the table, a new partnership or a venture may be the way forward, or even a merger between the two in order to create one successful and stable transatlantic sports betting, gaming, and live casino operator. The joint work of the two companies to date has been way too beneficial for both of them, and it is unlikely that they will cease their partnership altogether.

Those in the know are weary to make any strong predictions however, and this is mainly due to the unsuccessful acquisition bid in 2021 whereby the offer they made to Entain was deemed too low. The £8.1bn attempt was later withdrawn following comments by then Entain Chairman Barry Gibson, who suggested that it “significantly undervalued” the sports betting giant and its prospects. At the time, another US betting company, DraftKings (one of the main competitors for MGM at home) also made an offer, doubling the amount offered by MGM, however this was also turned down by Entain, mainly because MGM stated they would invoke a clause in the venture stopping any US companies from acquiring Entain while the partnership was still ongoing.

The news of a prospective new bid by MGM is certainly an exciting one, and we will keep following the topic with interest. Please come back soon for more information.

About the author

Carl Hughes

Editor

Carl Hughes

Editor

Carl Hughes is a leading expert on sports and casino betting. Carl began his career with a BSc in Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences from the University of Birmingham before working within the industry for some of the bigger names (GVC and Bet365) and has been praised as being "a leading sports betting commentator".