Kindred to exit North America in Q2 2024

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Kindred Group has told investors it will depart all North American markets by the end of Q2 2024 as part of plans to refocus and accelerate profitable growth. 

The Stockholm-listed operator, which runs the Unibet Sportsbook and Casino brand, has made the decision off the back of a strategic review of its global operations initiated in April. 

Consequently, Kindred will exit all North American markets, including its online operations in Ontario, Arizona, Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The process is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be complete by the end of Q2 2024. 

The full exit comes just a year after the group left Iowa, signaling that it would focus on multi-product states to achieve North American success. Kindred even rolled out its proprietary tech stack in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in its bid to save its US prospects. 

Yet, in an extremely competitive market with well-capitalized, tier-one brands dominating so early, Kindred found it difficult to make a dent in terms of market share. Last year, the group stated it aimed to be a top 10 operator in online casino and sports betting markets, but had failed to achieve this aim. 

Other cost-cutting initiatives will see Kindred reduce its headcount by 300 employees and consultants, which is expected to be part of a package to save £40m per-year. 

Nils Andén, Interim CEO of Kindred Group explained: “The cost reduction actions announced today are both necessary and decisive. While it is never a desire to inform valued colleagues of redundancies, this puts us in a stronger position to secure long-term growth for Kindred across our locally regulated core markets. 

“We can now focus our resources and tech capacity towards strategic initiatives and selected markets where we see clear potential to grow our market share.”

Andén took over the reins of Kindred earlier this year when the strategic review was initiated, replacing former incumbent Henrik Tjarnstrom who had been a long-serving CEO. 

The former CMO of the group, Andén was tasked with conducting the review, which will remain ongoing throughout 2024. This came as part of a large wave of changes in the C-suite leadership group at Kindred, showing signs of significant operational changes. 

Following the savings made from the North American exit, the group will reshift its focus on its core western European and Nordic markets that it is most well-known for. 

Kindred has lost market share in key markets such as the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK in a bid for US success. 

As such, the group will begin “growth initiatives” across those core markets, including: additional brand extensions of hyper-local casino brands, re-allocation of marketing investments and tech resources to selected markets and strategic projects and continued product differentiation through exclusive content. 

The strategic review is still ongoing and Kindred has still left the door open to a full or partial sale.