Entain Doubles Down on Canada Sports Betting With $236m Avid Gaming Acquisition

  • Entain has acquired the parent company of Canadian operator Sports Interaction
  • The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake owns and operates betting firm Sports Interaction
  • Sports Interaction supposedly has the legal authority to accept players from Ontario
  • Ontario is set to launch Canada’s first open betting and iGaming market on April 4
Canada flag
Entain has acquired Avid Gaming for $236m as the operator looks to bolster its Canadian operations. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Expanding its Canadian operations

Global gaming giant Entain has acquired the parent company of Canadian betting operator Sports Interaction in a deal worth CAD$300m (US$236m). The move comes as Entain looks to cement its position in Canada’s newly legalized single-event sports wagering market.

synergies of about CAD$15m (US$12m) next year

Entain announced the acquisition of Avid Gaming in a press release on Monday this week. The company expects the agreement to deliver synergies of about CAD$15m (US$12m) next year. Entain will use existing facilities to fund the acquisition.

Sports Interaction is operated by the Mohawk Online subsidiary of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake. Avid Gaming licenses the Sports Interaction trademark, also providing proprietary online gaming and betting products and services to the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake.

A mutually beneficial partnership

Entain has already applied for sports betting and iGaming licenses for the province of Ontario. However, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission believes that Sports Interaction already has the legal authority to accept players in Ontario without having to register with the local regulators.

Sports Interaction began in 1997, but it has grown significantly over the past few years. Last year, its gross revenue rose 40% year-on-year to about £44m (US$59.6m). Revenue from Mohawk Online goes towards the Kahnawake indigenous community. About half of Avid Gaming’s employees are from the group.

In a joint statement released Monday, Mohawk Council of Kahnawake grand chief Kahsennenhawe Sky-Deer welcomed the deal with Entain. She said the mutually beneficial partnership “brings with it prime opportunity for bolstering our self-sufficiency through the continuing success of Sports Interaction.”

Meanwhile, Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen said she looks forward to working with “the leading Canadian sports betting and gaming brand.” She believes that this acquisition will complete Entain’s existing Canadian operations and allow it to leverage Sports Interaction’s local expertise.

Ontario market going live soon

Entain is a joint owner of the US-focused BetMGM online gambling brand, as well as the Party and Bwin brands that cater to Canadian players. With single-event sports betting in Canada becoming federally legal last year, major operators have been eyeing up the market.

Operators are expecting big things

Ontario will be the first Canadian province to launch an open regulated iGaming and online betting market. Operators are expecting big things due to the province’s population of about 14.6 million.

Private operators that have the relevant regulatory approval can launch their platforms in Ontario from April 4. To date, Rivalry, PointsBet, and theScore Bet have announced they have received licenses in the province.