The firm’s deputy CEO, Rob Wood, told the Standard its BetMGM offering – a joint venture with Nevada-based casino operator MGM Resorts – is “absolutely flying” in the US. It has now overtaken Draft Kings as the number two operator in the US online gambling space. BetMGM took its market share up to 22% in the half – only Paddy Power owner Flutter has a larger slice.
Entain saw US net gaming revenue of $357 million (£257 million) in the first half – five times the revenues seen in the first half of 2020.
The company also announced an £100 million investment into a new innovation lab to create a “step-changing investment in tech”. It will focus on immersive tech and other research and development in sectors such as e-sports. The funds will come from costs savings.
Wood said: “We still only have about 7%of the global online market. There are around 50 global markets we’re not yet in… We’ve got lots of M&A opportunities, lots of organic growth opportunities, within sports betting and online gaming – and this whole new world of online gaming.
“We want to be disruptors in our space.”
Entain rejected an approach from MGM in January that valued the business at £8.1 billion, saying that it “significantly undervalues the company and its prospects”.
Wood declined to comment on speculation that the operator has returned with another offer.
He said: “We never talk about M&A opportunities that are live… We are entirely focused on our own future.”
In a note titled “evolution, with just a hint of revolution”, Peel Hunt analysts noted the possibility of renewed interest from MGM, and said the cost-savings program – which intends to net £75million of gains – is “a useful fillip to a business already delivering strong online growth”.
Shares were down nearly 1%, or 19p, to 1946.5p, on Thursday morning.