Date: 20.03.2024

by Kajetan Sawicz

Entain Estimates BetCity Acquisition Value Discrepancy in Legal Battle

Entain Plc has recently brought to light significant details regarding its legal dispute with Sports Entertainment Media BV over the valuation of its Dutch subsidiary, In a revelation that has caught the attention of the iGaming industry, documents from the High Court of England and Wales suggest that Entain believes was overvalued by €68m to €156m in the acquisition deal with Sports Entertainment BV.

The Heart of the Dispute

At the core of this legal tangle is Entain’s allegation against Sports Entertainment BV and its founding Singel family, accusing them of concealing regulatory breaches at This accusation stems from a €3m fine imposed on in 2023 for severe non-compliance with the Netherlands Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Prevention Act (Wwft), which Entain claims was undisclosed during the acquisition negotiations.

Entain’s acquisition of BetEnt BV, the operator holding’s Dutch KOA license, was finalized in 2022 at an impressive valuation of €850m. The terms included a €300m cash transaction for shares in Sports Entertainment Media BV and up to €550m in performance-based incentives. However, the subsequent fine and alleged hidden violations have led Entain to reassess the deal’s value, with damage estimates ranging between €68m and €156m.

Calculating the Damages

Entain, represented by Clifford Chance, has provided two methods for calculating the damages stemming from the alleged breaches. The first approach considers an increase in’s Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC) due to the heightened risk from these violations, suggesting a valuation drop of approximately €124m. The second method adjusts’s future cash flow projections based on anticipated revenue drops of 28-32% in 2024, leading to an estimated value decrease of €136m to €156m, which Entain has conservatively adjusted to between €68m and €156m.

In response to the evolving regulatory landscape in the UK and the Netherlands, Entain has earmarked £40m for compliance costs in its H1 2024 financials. Moreover, the company’s board has initiated a review of its brand portfolio, funding, and operational structures through a Capital Allocation Committee, aiming to optimize financial performance and enhance shareholder value amidst these challenging circumstances.

Our Comment on the Article

Entain’s legal dispute over the acquisition highlights the intricate challenges and risks inherent in major mergers and acquisitions within the iGaming industry. The case underscores the importance of due diligence and transparent disclosure in such high-stake transactions, especially when navigating complex regulatory environments. As Entain navigates through this legal challenge, the outcome will likely set precedents for future acquisitions and serve as a cautionary tale for the industry about the potential pitfalls in valuing and acquiring regulated assets.