UK-listed sports betting and gaming group Entain has shared its financial report for the first quarter of 2022. The group describes the period to March 31 as “a strong start to the year,” in line with expectations, with group net gaming revenue up 31%, despite an 8% fall in revenues from its online segment.
Revenue was driven by the return of retail operations, while the online gaming drop was “in line with expectations” given strong 2021 comparators. Shares of the Ladbrokes owner slipped following the second straight quarterly drop in online sales: they were down 1.5% on Thursday, according to Reuters.
While gambling firms saw their online operations booming amid pandemic-related lockdowns, iGaming demand has now slowed down as economies reopen and retail operations regain presence. Amid this changing landscape, Entain remains confident, and describes “continued momentum” in all major markets.
“We have started the year with a good performance across all areas of our business, driven as ever by the strength of our industry-leading platform,” said Jette Nygaard-Andersen, Entain’s CEO. “We have delivered strong performances in all of our major markets, and I am pleased to report that retail is performing well with customers returning for our in-store experience.”
But in addition to retail bouncing back, the company also highlights the success achieved by BetMGM, its sports betting and iGaming joint venture with MGM Resorts for the US market. The Coral and bwin owner is among firms turning to the North American market as more states open their doors to sports betting, and the BetMGM brand is now live in 23 markets.
BetMGM is also on track to reach positive EBITDA in 2023, the company said, and currently occupies a 24% market share in those jurisdictions where it operates. It is also the “consistently leading iGaming operator,” with a 29% market share.
“In the US, BetMGM is firmly established as the number two operator, and our market launches during Q1 mean that we now have access to over 41% of the US adult population,” the CEO commented, in regards to the period’s four new market additions. “Elsewhere, our strategy of expanding into new markets is continuing at pace.”
Additional quarterly highlights for Entain include the further broadening of its customer base, with actives up 34% over two years, and the closure of a range of transactions delivering strategic expansion into new markets: Canadian sportsbook Avid Gaming; Latvian operator Klondaika; and Polish book Totolotek.
“As a growing business we continue to invest in and build our business around our customers to provide them with the best experiences whilst also capturing the many opportunities ahead,” concluded Nygaard-Andersen. “Given the strength and continuing momentum of our underlying business, coupled with our proven ability to grow both organically and through M&A, we remain confident in our financial performance for FY22 and beyond.”