Entain Sells Sports Betting Exchange Betdaq Back to Dermot Desmond

  • Entain is selling Betdaq back to the Irish billionaire for an unspecified sum
  • Existing Betdaq customers will need to agree to a new set of terms and conditions
  • Desmond originally sold Betdaq to Ladbrokes in 2013 for €30m ($33.6m)
  • Betdaq has been a non-core focus for Entain and struggled to compete with Betfair
Businessman shaking on a deal
Entain has revealed that it is selling Betdaq back to Irish billionaire Dermot Desmond nearly nine years after buying it from the Irish billionaire. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A quick transition

Entain has come to an agreement to sell its Betdaq sports betting exchange for an unspecified sum. The buyer is former Betdaq owner and billionaire Dermot Desmond.

the change in ownership will officially go into effect on December 1

Betdaq sent an email to its customers on Wednesday informing them that the change in ownership will officially go into effect on December 1. On this date, Betdaq’s license will transfer from its current parent company of LC International Limited over to Exchange Platform Solutions Limited before the latter is sold.

When customers log in to their accounts after the December 1 transfer, they will need to agree to the new set of terms and conditions. Customers will only be able to keep using their accounts if they do so. Betdaq customer funds will transfer over to a segregated bank account on Exchange Platform Solutions’ behalf.

No exact figure

Speaking about the sale to EGR, a spokesperson for Entain said: “We can confirm that Entain has agreed to sell the Betdaq business to Dermot Desmond, for an undisclosed sum.”

The spokesperson did not provide any more details about the sale, but it is reported that it is for a fraction of the €30m ($33.6m) that Ladbrokes originally paid for Betdaq in January 2013.

Entain owns a number of gambling brands, including Ladbrokes, Coral, and partypoker. At the same time Ladbrokes bought Betdaq, it also acquired a 10% stake in TBH Guernsey Ltd, the technology provider for Betdaq, for €4m ($4.5m). The operator subsequently went live with a Ladbrokes-branded sports betting exchange that Betdaq powered.

Betdaq’s background

Betdaq was founded in 2000 as a competitor to companies like Betfair and Flutter. Betfair has long been the clear leader in the sports betting exchange sector, with Betdaq being a distant competitor when it came to liquidity levels. In an effort to try to stay competitive, Betdaq implemented a flat commission of 2% across all markets.

Dermot Desmond is an Irish financier and billionaire who has a number of significant business interests, including being the biggest individual shareholder in Celtic FC. He was formerly a 2.8% owner of Ladbrokes and attempted to block its 2016 acquisition of Gala Coral.

Despite being profitable, Betdaq has not been much of a focus of Entain’s, whose main markets are the online casino and fixed-odds sports betting spaces. The future of Betdaq has been up in the air since the £3.8bn ($5bn) reverse takeover of Ladbrokes Coral Plc by GVC Holdings (now Entain Plc) in 2018.

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