Unibet Sportsbook and online casino is gearing up to leave the Ontario sports betting and igaming market in 2024. The site’s parent company, Kindred Group, has announced that it will be leaving the North American market altogether sometime next year.
This move comes after a strategic review of the company’s business practices and strategies that was commissioned in April of this year. The Kindred Group is pulling out of North America to cut costs and better invest in other markets.
- Kindred Group has announced it will be pulling all its products out of North America by midway through 2024.
- Unibet sportsbook and online casino will no longer be available in Ontario by Q2 of next year.
- The site plans to focus more on its “core market footprint” in the UK, Sweden, and France.
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Unibet out of Canada by summer 2024
Kindred Group has announced it will be pulling all its products out of North America by midway through 2024. In a press release, the company announced “Kindred Group will exit the North American market with the expectations to have fully exited operations in the market by the end of Q2 2024, subject to the regulatory process.” For Ontario sports bettors, this means that Unibet sportsbook and online casino will no longer be available in Ontario by Q2 of next year.
Interim CEO of Kindred Group, Nils Andén said of the decision that it was a part of several “cost reduction actions” that are necessary for Kindred Group to move forward. “This puts us in a stronger position to secure long-term growth,” said Andén.
Kindred Group and Unibet have seen a downturn in profits and corporate valuation recently. Kindred Group commissioned a strategic review of all corporate actions and practices back in April. The review is described as ongoing, and leaving the North American sports betting market is described as a part of the ongoing review.
What Unibet leaving means for the Ontario sports betting market
One sports betting site leaving the Ontario sports betting market does not mean much in the grand scheme of things. However, this could be a sign of things to come as the Ontario sports betting market matures.
One major move that many are speculating influenced the Kindred Group’s decision is the emergence of ESPN Bet and theScore Bet in Ontario. These two sports betting sites are expected to grow significantly in the coming years. ESPN Bet especially has been tipped for major growth due to the ubiquity of ESPN’s brand in North America.
Unibet leaving could also be a sign that North American sports bettors prefer to bet at North American sites as opposed to established British or European brands. Some Ontario sportsbooks have even begun emphasising the fact they are Canadian in their ads. This could be one of the reasons, Unibet, a decidedly not Canadian company, has decided to call it quits in Ontario.
Unibet as a global brand
Unibet is one of the biggest igaming sites in the world. The company is most known for its sports betting site, but the Unibet online casino is also popular in many major European markets. Unibet, and its parent company the Kindred Group, are based in Sweden. Their market is the United Kingdom though, but the name is probably very familiar to soccer fans all over Europe.
Unibet is or has been a sponsor of Middlesbrough FC in England, Club Brugge in Belgium, FC Copenhagen in Denmark, Glasgow Rangers in Scotland, and Dutch side AFC Ajax. They also sponsor a wide variety of other sportspeople and sporting events. Five-time World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen was also sponsored by Unibet.
All of this is to say that Unibet has a strong presence all around the world, which is why it makes sense that they may be thinking about investing elsewhere in more established sports betting markets than the US and Canada.
The desire to focus more on existing markets was explicitly mentioned by Unibet when they announced their decision. The site plans to focus more on its “core market footprint” in the UK, Sweden, and France.
Julian Miller is a Canadian writer and an avid sports fan. He has years of experience in the iGaming industry, having started writing while completing his university studies in Montreal, Quebec. In 2022, he graduated, and has since been working full-time in the iGaming space. He has a particular fondness for the English Premier League — though he also has plenty of experience covering football, basketball, and other sports.