Kindred Shutting Down Unibet Online Casino, Sportsbook In New Jersey

Written By David Danzis on December 5, 2023
phone with unibet logo powers off; unibet is leaving new jersey, north america

Another European operator is throwing in the towel on the US, leaving New Jersey online gamblers with one less option to choose from.

Kindred Group plc recently announced it was pulling Unibet from North American markets. The Malta-based company is leaving the NJ sports betting and NJ online casino industries for good. In a press release, Kindred said it expects to make a complete exit by the second quarter of 2024.

Unibet departure will help save $50.5 million

Kindred cited a focus on “core markets” and “cost reduction initiatives” as reasons behind the North American pullout. The company said as many as 300 jobs will be eliminated as part of the restructuring. Kindred expects to save nearly $50.5 million in the next year.

“The cost reduction actions announced today are both necessary and decisive,” Nils Andén, Kindred interim CEO, said in a statement. “While it is never a desire to inform valued colleagues of redundancies, this puts us in a stronger position to secure long-term growth for Kindred across our locally regulated core markets.

“We can now focus our resources and tech capacity towards strategic initiatives and selected markets where we see clear potential to grow our market share.”

Both Unibet Sportsbook NJ and Unibet Online Casino NJ operate under the gaming license of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. Unibet was one of three online operators — or skins — under the Hard Rock license. The others are Bet365 and Hard Rock Bet, the company’s new digital product.

How was Unibet performing in New Jersey?

New Jersey gambling regulators do not publish individual online operator results. Instead, skins are grouped under a licensee.

Hard Rock online sports betting skins generated slightly more than $23 million in 2023. By comparison, the market leaders Meadowlands Racetrack (FanDuel Sportsbook, Poinstbet/Fanatics, Superbook) and Resorts Digital (DraftKings Sportsbook) have reported $295 million and $245 million, respectively, so far this year.

Unibet Online Casino’s (estimated) results are not much better. Year-to-date, the Hard Rock skins have generated a little over $54.5 million in NJ online casino revenue, while the top earners (including BetMGM/Borgata) have generated upward of $360 million in 2023.

In addition to New Jersey, Unibet Sportsbook currently operates in four other states: Arizona, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Unibet Online Casino is only available in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. All of these platforms will be shut down in the coming year.

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David Danzis

David Danzis is the lead writer for PlayNJ. He is a New Jersey native and honors graduate of Rutgers University. As a newspaper reporter for the New Jersey Herald and Press of Atlantic City, David earned statewide awards for his coverage of politics, government, education, sports, and business. Today, he is PlayNJ’s Atlantic City “insider” and gaming industry expert on casinos, sports betting, and online gambling. David lives in Atlantic County, NJ with his wife and two children.

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