Entain's future growth hinges on ability to gain US market share, says analyst

By Gambling Insider

Senior analyst at Third Bridge, Harry Barnick, has been pondering what could be next for Entain, following the group's Q1 trading update.

His comments revolved around the company’s financials, recovery and the failed merger with MGM Resorts International.

Entain has reported a 13% decline in net gaming revenue (NGR) for the first quarter of 2021, despite a 33% rise in online NGR.

As most companies experienced better online figures, Barnick touched on how detrimental the pandemic has been overall for the group.

Barnick commented: "While Entain's online results were promising, with GGR growing 33%, total group NGR was dragged down by a near 100% decline in retail due to betting shop closures.”

Although, with betting shops now open in the UK, Entain can take advantage of sport in the summer, which Barnick sees as “essential to retail revenue recovery."

Long-term future was also discussed as the gambling landscape begins to change in the UK and the US.

Barnick said: “Investor sentiment will remain cautious while the Gambling Act review is underway in the UK. This could lead to major revenue declines in the online channel as strict restrictions are placed on stake limits.

"The US market has grown faster than punters might have expected. Entain's future growth now hinges on its ability to gain market share”.

Earlier this year, the group was set to merge with casino giant MGM Resorts, but the deal collapsed after issues with valuation.

Barnick says investors are still speculating on the the deal and whether the pair can “strengthen their relationship by combining operations”.

After the MGM Resorts talks, Entain went on to strike a deal with Enlabs instead, as it decided to purchase the company for £250m ($344.6m).

Barnick added: "Enlab's shareholders recently approved the takeover offer from Entain. With a clear focus on the online channel, this acquisition solidifies Entain's position as a UK leader in this segment."

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