April 28, 2021 Sports Betting, Legal

Entain to benefit from legalization of sports betting in Japan, analysts say

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“There is already a healthy offshore market,” according to analysts

Entain could benefit from the proposed legalization of sports betting in Japan, according to analysts Peel Hunt.

As reported by the Financial Times, the Japanese Government is in discussions to legalize sports betting on baseball and football, the country’s two most popular sports.

It comes as Tokyo seeks additional tax revenues amid continuing financial pressure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. And analysts Peel Hunt suggest that this could lead to a sports betting market worth an estimated $65bn (£46.8bn) a year.

MGM Resorts International, Entain’s US partner in BetMGM, remains the sole bidder - alongside its partner Orix - for an integrated resort and casino in Osaka. Osaka is Japan’s third-largest city behind Tokyo and Yokohama.

“There is already a healthy offshore market, and legalising the activity would raise additional revenue for the Japanese government,” said analysts Peel Hunt.

“If MGM were to win the casino license and sports betting were to be legalized, we believe Entain could work with MGM to develop this market.”

MGM Resorts International decided against submitting a revised offer to acquire Entain earlier this year, having had an initial offer of $11bn rejected. Experts suggested that the decision not to further pursue the acquisition was good news for Osaka, as the major deal would have reduced MGM’s appetite for investment in Japan.

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