Entain CEO focuses on strong US momentum in 2020 financials

Image source: Entain plc

Global sports betting and gaming group Entain plc has posted its financial results for the year ended December 31 2020, citing growth across its international operations and strong momentum with BetMGM, its joint venture in the US with MGM Resorts.

In a year that saw the firm go live in 12 states with BetMGM, Entain achieved an 11% increase in group EBITDA to $1174.62m, at the top end of recently increased expectations. Online net gaming revenue (NGR) saw an uplift of 28%, while online EBITDA surged ahead by 50% to reach $1119.45m, reflecting the shift to online during the pandemic as well as good sports margins. 

Retail, which was significantly impacted by Covid-19 during the 12 months, came in at $136.95m. Group profit after tax was $158.55m compared with a loss of $182.79m in 2019, with year end net debt standing at $2461.25m.

During the year BetMGM grew its online NGR by 140% and delivered a total NGR of $178m for 2020, ahead of Q3 guidance of $150m to $160m. Entain’s share of losses for the joint venture for 2020 was $84.43m and, given the significant growth of the business, it is expected that both NGR and losses will increase significantly in 2021. 

CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen commented: “Having spent more than two decades working with digital companies using technology to transform and disrupt industries, I am hugely excited about the future prospects for Entain. We are a digital entertainment company with a clear strategic focus on growth and sustainability. 

“As such, we have a fantastic platform from which to use our proprietary technology to expand into new markets and reach new audiences around the world. Today’s results demonstrate the extraordinary resilience and professionalism of our people, as well as the importance of having a truly diversified business model that is not overly reliant on any one product, brand, territory, or channel. 

“Furthermore, we firmly believe that the launch during the year of our Sustainability Charter, which includes our game-changing Advanced Responsibility & Care player protection program, will be a key component in helping us to deliver on our vision of being the world-leader in sports-betting and gaming entertainment. 

“The strong underlying momentum within our business, the rapid growth of our US joint-venture, and our continuing international expansion mean that we are as confident as ever in the long-term prospects for Entain.”

Turning the focus onto the US, Nygaard-Andersen advised: “We estimate that the betting and igaming market in the US will be worth some $20bn by 2025. With our joint venture partner, MGM Resorts, we have created a winning formula around a strong brand with significant competitive advantages. 

“This includes our own industry leading proprietary technology, product set, digital marketing and player safety, as well as unrivalled player access through MGM Resorts retail operations, M life Rewards program and other partnerships and affiliations. 

“Having started 2020 operational in just three states, significant growth and momentum has accelerated BetMGM into a leading online sports and igaming operator in the US market. It is now live in 12 states and has over 500 employees.” 

During the year BetMGM launched in West Virginia (online sports-betting (OSB) & igaming (ig)), Indiana (OSB), Nevada (OSB adding to Retail Sports (RS) which went live in 2019), Michigan (RS), Colorado (OSB), Oregon (RS), Tennessee (OSB) and Pennsylvania (OSB & ig).