In a notable shift within the gaming sector, Kindred Group has formally declared its intent to withdraw from the North American market and to initiate a substantial reduction in its workforce, a decision set to impact 300 jobs. This strategic move is generating considerable discussion among industry experts and raises the potential of a forthcoming sale of the Swedish gaming powerhouse.
Kindred Group, recognized for its presence in the international betting scene, chiefly through its Unibet brand, has seen less than anticipated success stateside. Unibet has established itself in a handful of states—specifically, Arizona, Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia—but has not managed to capture the same market footprint as it enjoys in European territories. In pursuit of a more concentrated and effective business model, the company has embarked on a significant restructuring initiative that promises to streamline operations and prioritize selective growth activities. Part of these efforts includes the termination of over 300 roles and consultant positions across its global network, inclusive of those in North America, during the year 2024.
This anticipated restructuring aims to deliver a marked financial upturn, with expected annual gross cost savings mounting to nearly 40 million GBP (approximately 50.51 million USD), encompassing both operational expenditures and capital investments. Interim CEO Nils Andén characterized these measures as “necessary and decisive”, underscoring their pivotal role in redirecting the company’s focus back to its core markets.
Whispers of a takeover have been circulating ever since Kindred openly initiated a strategic review. While the company has not directly suggested as much, such reviews habitually ignite the market rumour mill about potential acquisition deals. Previously, industry chatter pinpointed entities like MGM Resorts International and an undisclosed UK-based gaming company as potential suitors harboring interest in Kindred. Such an acquisition would have strategic merit, allowing MGM to augment its Swedish portfolio or enabling UK contenders to strengthen their European presence. Notably, earlier rumours suggested preliminary discussions had been held with heavyweight operators including Entain, Evolution AB, and Flutter Entertainment.
As Kindred prepares to fold its North American endeavors, it serves as a reminder of the rigorous and highly saturated US sports wagering market. Following the landmark 2018 Supreme Court decision on PASPA, the landscape has seen a cascade of international companies venture into the American betting fray. Success stories remain rare, with notable legacies stemming from Flutter Entertainment with FanDuel, and Entain’s stake in BetMGM—two entities that, despite foreign ties, are largely perceived as domestic operators.
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