UK’s Entain expects higher online gaming revenue on World Cup boost

(Reuters) -British gambling firm Entain bet on the soccer World Cup starting next month to help improve its fourth-quarter online gaming revenue and said that its total gaming revenue rose marginally in the third quarter.

The London-listed firm, which owns Ladbrokes and Coral betting shops as well as bwin and partypoker online brands, said on Thursday its total gaming revenue rose 2% in the third quarter, but was unchanged on a constant-currency basis.

Gambling firms, which are seeing more punters returning to retail shops and witnessing a drop in online gaming from COVID peaks, are now staring at challenges from a cost-of-living crisis as customers seek to cut non-essential spending.

Entain’s smaller rival Rank Group has also warned of continued pressure on consumer’s discretionary spends amid rising inflation. On Thursday, it reported a 2% rise in its like-for-like net gaming revenue for the first quarter.

Entain further said BetMGM, its U.S. joint venture with MGM Resorts, continued to perform strongly, thanks to the start of the National Football League season in the United States.

Previously known as GVC Holdings, Entain’s total online gaming revenue declined by 2% on a constant currency basis for the three-month period ended Sept. 30.

(Reporting by Sinchita Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Uttaresh.V)