Unibet’s NJ Sports Betting Launch Moves Closer As Kindred Signs Deal With Kambi

Posted By Joss Wood on December 7, 2018 - Last Updated on April 8, 2020

Way back in July, Kindred announced that it planned to launch its Unibet brand in New Jersey. Over in Europe, Unibet is a huge sports betting brand, and Kindred will make a major move into US markets.

Now, Kindred has agreed to extend the current deal it has with Kambi to cover the New Jersey market.

Kambi is the power behind DraftKings

Kambi is perhaps best known in NJ sports betting for being the technology behind DraftKings Sportsbook.

With the help of Kambi, DraftKings was the first to launch online sports betting in Jersey. Early market entry paid off and DraftKings is far and away the most popular book in the state.

October NJ sports betting revenue from the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) showed online sports betting revenues of more than $5 million for the DraftKings/Resorts Casino partnership.

Those numbers included figures for BetStars NJ, but the vast majority of the revenues came from DraftKings.

Two weeks ago, Resorts Casino opened its permanent sportsbook in Atlantic City. The sportsbook is branded DraftKings, and Kambi is again providing the tech behind it.

The New Jersey market still has a long way to grow, and Kindred Group plans to take a slice of the action.

Kindred has a deal with Hard Rock AC

In August this year, Hard Rock Atlantic City partnered with Kindred. That deal enables Kindred to apply for a Casino Service Industry Enterprise License from the DGE.

Kindred’s other sports betting partner is Scientific Games (SG). Kindred is using SG’s Open Platform System and Open Gaming System. The Open Platform provides a player account management system, and Open Gaming is a game aggregation program.

The deal with Kambi will allow Kindred to use Kambi’s sports betting platform — the same basic system as used by DraftKings.

Kindred is in a hurry to get to market, and Kambi is a partner that can deliver a rapid roll out.

Kambi and Kindred have a long history

The corporate relationship between Kambi and Kindred goes back for years. Kambi used to be a part of Kindred and was spun off as a separate business in 2014.

The chairman of Kindred actually sits on Kambi’s board of directors, so the connection between the two companies has remained close.

Manuel Stan, SVP of Kindred US, commented:

“We are of course delighted to add this final piece to our product offering towards customers in New Jersey. Kindred and Kambi have a long and successful history together, which we intend to develop further as we prepare to enter the New Jersey market. I am particularly pleased that we are now ready to offer customers in New Jersey a truly great experience in a safe and secure environment.”

Max Meltzer, Kambi’s chief commercial officer, chimed in on the same note:

“The partnership between Kambi and Kindred, which goes back many years, continues to deliver consistent sports betting growth in Europe and other parts of the world, illustrating Kambi’s ability to empower visionary operators to become sportsbook market leaders. As industry innovators, Kindred has leveraged the flexibility of the Kambi platform to develop truly unique and differentiated sports betting experiences for its players and we look forward to supporting Kindred in bringing those to the US.”

Unibet and DraftKings have a similar color theme

Before the US Supreme Court overturned PASPA, Kindred was already eyeing the US market.

Talking to investors, Kindred’s CEO Henrik Tjärnström expressed his desire to use the Unibet brand in the US:

“Our working hypothesis right now is when sports becomes available, we would see it as a big benefit if we could go with the Unibet brand, albeit we fully appreciate that it’s unknown in the US market, but it has worked well in Europe and we believe it could work well in the US as well.”

But take another look at the DraftKings colors in the tweet quoted above.

Now check out the Unibet brand at its dot-com website:

DraftKings is the newcomer when it comes to sports betting whereas Unibet has been around a lot longer. Unibet launched its first website in 1999 and now has 11 million customers in more than 100 countries.

Kindred won’t want to change the Unibet brand image for NJ sports betting. But those colors look awfully similar.

Joss Wood Avatar
Written by
Joss Wood

Though Joss Wood's primary focus is on international regulated online gambling markets, he also follows the legal New Jersey online gambling industry and writes extensively about sports betting. Previously he worked as the editor of Poker Industry Pro, worked in business and finance, and played online poker professionally for seven years.

View all posts by Joss Wood
Privacy Policy