On November 29, 2023, Kindred Group (OTC: KNDGF) declared that it would be leaving the North American market, resulting in the loss of 300 jobs. This decision has led some industry experts to believe that the Swedish gaming company could be up for sale.
The company’s departure from North America is expected to be finalized by the end of the second quarter of 2024. Kindred’s Unibet brand, which is popular with European bettors, struggled to gain traction in the US and is only active in five states – Arizona, Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The announcement comes as an update on the strategic review that Kindred initiated in April.
In a statement, the company announced that it will be undergoing cost reduction initiatives, including the elimination of over 300 employees, with the intent of achieving annualized gross cost savings of approximately GBP 40 million ($50.51 million).
Nils Andén, the interim CEO, described the cost-cutting measures as necessary and decisive, and stated that it will allow the company to refocus on its core markets.
Following the strategic review announcement, speculation arose regarding a potential sale of Kindred. Reports in July suggested that both MGM Resorts International and a UK-based gaming entity were considering takeover offers for Kindred. Although no deal has materialized, potential suitors could still emerge in the future.
Various UK operators, such as Flutter Entertainment and Entain Plc, have also been linked to a possible acquisition of Kindred. However, the decision to exit the North American market suggests that the US sports wagering industry continues to prove challenging for foreign operators.
Since the 2018 Supreme Court ruling on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), many foreign companies have entered the US sports betting market, only to ultimately sell themselves or withdraw after failing to gain sufficient market share. Flutter and Entain are among the few foreign operators that have achieved notable success in the US, primarily through controlling or having a stake in American companies like FanDuel and BetMGM.