Unibet

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Unibet
Public
Traded as Nasdaq StockholmUNIB SDB
Industry Online gambling
Founded 1997
Founder Anders Ström
Headquarters Malta
Number of locations
Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Gibraltar, Italy, Malta, UK
Key people
Henrik Tjärnström (CEO)
Products Sportsbook, Casino & Games, Poker, Bingo
Revenue £354.1 million (2015)[1]
Number of employees
1000+[2]
Website www.unibet.com

Unibet is a part of Kindred Group - an online gambling operator which consists of 13 brands along with Maria Casino, Stan James, 32Red, and iGame. Unibet provides a platform for sports betting, casino, games and online poker. Today, Unibet has 11 million customers in over 100 countries and over 1,000 employees. Unibet launched its first online website in 1999, launched live betting service in 2003 and introduced mobile site in 2004.[3]

Overview[edit]

The Kindred Group, and by extension Unibet, is headquartered in Malta which – along with the likes of Gibraltar and the Isle of Man – is one of the most popular bases of operation for gambling firms. The Unibet website itself is operated by a company called Platinum Gaming Limited, which is indeed located in Gibraltar.

This arrangement allows Unibet to be licensed, through Platinum Gaming Limited, by the Government of Gibraltar (under Licence numbers RGL 091 & RGL 092)[4] and regulated by the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner for the purposes of serving customers around Europe. In order to legally offer online gambling services to UK based customers Platinum Gaming Limited – and therefore Unibet – also hold a Combined Continuation Remote Operating Licence (number 000-045322-R-324275-001)[5] from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).

Alongside Unibet, the Kindred Group's other betting and gaming brands are[6]:

  • 32Red
  • Bingo.com
  • Bohemia Casino
  • Casinohuone
  • iGame
  • Kolikkopelit
  • Maria Casino
  • Roxy Palace
  • Storspiller Storspelare
  • Vlad Cazino

As their names suggest, those brands operate in a number of different countries and territories.

History[edit]

Unibet was originally founded in 1997 by Anders Ström, with the company initially operating out of Ström's home in Earl's Court, London. Acting as the company's first CEO, Ström manage to secure for Unibet a licence to operate a betting business and from 1998, Unibet began taking bets over the phone.

Just one year later, in 1999, Unibet launched their first ever online betting website, in both English and Swedish. At the turn of the new millennium Unibet became Unibet Group PLC, Pontus Lesse was appointed as the new CEO and the company were granted their first international gambling licence in Malta.

Over the next few years, Unibet Group PLC expanded quickly. Its Unibet website diversified to support 12 different languages and by 2004, the company boasted over 300,000 registered customers in more than 100 countries. It was also in that year that the company was first listed on the Swedish Stock Exchange.[7]

Between 2004 and 2010, Unibet Group PLC changed their CEO on two occasions and largely focussed on diversifying their product offering. They launched on mobile, rolled out a live casino product and acquired Maria Bingo[8] as a brand, in order to strengthen their position within the online bingo industry.

The following years saw a number of other acquisitions by the company, including most notably those of Betchoice in Australia and of Stan James Online.[9] In order to better support their new multi-brand strategy, Unibet Group Plc became the Kindred Group in 2016.[3] Since that time, the company have passed one million registered customers and launched a range of further betting and gambling brands around the world.

Financials[edit]

The Kindred Group is a publicly listed company on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, operated by Nasdaq. The company's total revenue for 2017 reached £751.4 million,[7] with it being estimated that close to half of that revenue was accounted for by the company's Unibet brand itself.[10]

The most recent financial report published by the Kindred Group was for the second quarter of 2018 and suggests that the company continues to thrive. According to the interim Q2 report, the company achieved a gross winnings revenue of £219 million in the quarter.[11] That represented a 31% increase from the year's first quarter, which was explained by the company as being due to a combination of strong organic growth and the impact of the World Cup.

Those figures also mean that the Kindred Group's underlying EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortisation) for the second quarter of 2018 was £41.7 million. EBITDA is used as a measure of a company's performance without having to factor in financing decisions, accounting decisions or tax environments, and the Kindred Group's most recent EBITDA was up 25% on the same period last year.

Awards & achievements[edit]

As well as achieving significant commercial growth and financial success, Unibet are also consistently recognised with industry awards for their online betting and gambling offerings. Since just 2014, in fact, the brand has scooped up no fewer than 14 different awards.[12]

The International Gaming Awards are prestigious prizes given to the top providers in the industry, and Unibet have received an impressive selection over the years. The company's IGA Awards include Sportsbook Operator of the Year and App of the Year in 2014; Online Sportsbook Operator of the Year and In-Play Sports Operator of the Year in 2015; and the Socially Responsible Operator Award in 2016.

Away from the IGAs, Unibet have also been regular winners at other high-profile events such as the EGaming Review (EGR) Awards. EGR Awards handed down to Unibet include a number given in recognition of their online poker client, sportsbook, general innovation and social responsibility.

Sponsorship[edit]

Unibet sponsor a wide range of major sports teams and events.

The brand is, for instance, the official betting partner of three different English football league teams, in the shape of Aston Villa,[13] Preston North End,[14] and Middlesbrough.[15] Away from football, Unibet also have the same relationship with Warwickshire County Cricket Club.[16]

As well as partnering with specific teams across various sports, Unibet are also the title sponsor of a number of different sporting events within the worlds of darts and horse racing. The Masters, European Championships, World Grand Prix and Premier League of Darts events are all sponsored by the company.

Unibet are also the official betting partner of the Investec Derby at Epsom and sponsor a series of seven horse races through the national hunt season, known as the Unibet Road to Cheltenham. That series culminates with the Unibet Champion Hurdle during the Cheltenham Festival, whilst Unibet also sponsor a range of top-class races in Ireland through the racing season.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Annual Report 2015" (PDF). Unibet. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Linkedin Profile". Linkedin. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Unibet Timeline" (History of Unibet from 1997 to present day.).
  4. ^ "HM Government of Gibraltar" (PDF).
  5. ^ "UKGC License Details".
  6. ^ Kindred Group PLC. "Our Brands".
  7. ^ a b "Kindred Company Fact Sheet NASDAQ".
  8. ^ "Kindred buy Maria Holdings".
  9. ^ "Unibet Acquire Stan James". iGaming Business. 1 October 2015.
  10. ^ Kindred Group PLC (2017). "2017 Annual Report" (PDF).
  11. ^ Kindred Group PLC (June 2018). "Q2 Interim Report" (PDF).
  12. ^ Unibet. "Awards".
  13. ^ "Aston Villa announce Unibet deal". 7 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Unibet become official partner of PNE".
  15. ^ "Unibet sponsor Middlesbrough FC". 13 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Warwickshire CC partner with Unibet".

External links[edit]