Jersey’s Avid Gaming acquired in £174m e-gaming deal

Posted: 17/02/2022

A Jersey based gaming business has been acquired by a leading global sports betting, gaming and interactive operator in a CAD300 million deal (approx. £174m*). Interactive entertainment operator, Entain PLC has bought Avid International (“Avid Gaming”), which owns Sports Interaction, Canada’s leading online sports betting brand. Avid Gaming established its headquarters in Jersey in 2015 with support from the Government of Jersey’s inward investment team, Locate Jersey.

Melanie Hoey, Director, Avid Gaming, Jersey said: “Avid Gaming’s success since 2015 would not have been possible were it not for the decision to locate in Jersey. The combination of a business-friendly jurisdiction, robust regulatory framework, world class banking and professional services could not be matched. The talent we’ve found in Jersey has also made a real difference, allowing us to diversify our local operations into marketing, customers support, security, fraud prevention and software testing. The island has a thriving technology industry thanks to initiatives such as Digital Jersey. I am really proud of the team that we have built here.”

Avid Gaming is licensed and regulated by the Jersey Gambling Commission, supervised by the Jersey Financial Services Commission, and is a member of Digital Jersey. Advisors to Avid Gaming during the purchase negotiations, were M&A consultancy Partis, law firm CMS, accounting firm BDO and Jersey law firm Carey Olsen.

Jersey’s Minister for Economic Development, Senator Lyndon Farnham said: “Jersey welcomes this significant investment into our business eco-system which aligns well with our ambitions to attract high-quality businesses to the Island. It is testament to Avid Gaming’s commitment to the Island that the company has continued to grow here since first launching in 2015, providing jobs for local residents and supporting the development of our Digital sector. We are delighted that the Island’s pro-business attitude, excellent professional services and the fastest broadband in the world continue to make Jersey an attractive jurisdiction for inward investment and a great place to do business.”

Tony Moretta, CEO Digital Jersey, said: “Avid Gaming’s success underlines the increasingly international potential of Jersey’s tech sector. We have worked hard to support members like Avid Gaming, by reducing barriers to hiring key specialist staff, investing in retraining and upskilling locally, and connecting and enabling local businesses to grow and achieve global success. Through continued support from government and the vision and dedication of local entrepreneurs, Jersey is showing how diverse and innovative its digital industry can be, and ultimately that’s a huge win for our economy. Congratulations to Avid Gaming on their news.”

Avid Gaming exclusively licenses the Sports Interaction trademark and provides proprietary online betting and gamily products and services to the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke (“MCK”) and the Mohawk Online socio-economic initiative. Mohawk Online, which is wholly-owned by the MCK, operates Sports Interaction in Canada.

Avid Gaming’s Jersey team will continue supporting the socio-economic effort of the Mohawks of Kahnawà:ke through Sports Interaction’s unique exclusive relationship with Mohawk Online. In line with economic principles adopted by Canada under the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Mohawk Online revenues are invested back into the community of Kahnawà:ke to provide essential funding for cultural and language programmes, schools, healthcare and other public services. 50% of Avid Gaming employees in Kahnawà:ke are Mohawk, and in 2020 Mohawk Online revenues played a vital role in Kahnawà:ke’s Covid 19 relief efforts.

Jette Nygaard-Andersen, CEO of Entain plc said: “Sports Interaction is the leading Canadian sports betting and gaming brand and is aligned perfectly with our own ambitions of great customer service and ambitious growth, coupled with an unwavering commitment to sustainability. It is highly complementary to our existing operations in Canada, and the combination of its local expertise and Entain’s powerful platform, will provide customers with an unrivalled range of exciting and engaging products in this fast-growing market. We look forward to welcoming Will Golby and his team to Entain. Investing in the communities where we operate is a key pillar of Entain’s sustainability strategy. We are therefore delighted to be supporting the Mohawk Online socio-economic initiative.”

Marcus Pallot, Partner, Carey Olsen said: “Carey Olsen is delighted to have been the Jersey legal advisers to Avid Gaming from the outset. Their acquisition by Entain highlights the innovation and professionalism shown throughout Avid and is further proof of the unique offering that Jersey can provide for the e-Gaming industry.”

* 1) CAD / GBP FX rate of 0.5788 as of 4 February 2022

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