Unibet and the online gambling operator’s parent company, Kindred Group, seem to prove betting doesn’t need income from problem gamblers in order to be profitable. In Q2 2023, Kindred’s total revenue rose 29% over Q2 2022. Also, in Q2, revenue “from harmful gambling” was 3.1%.
Kindred reported the first number today and the latest result of its problem gambling initiative yesterday. Kindred calls the latter Journey Towards Zero. Because the company that operates the Unibet brand in the US hopes to eventually get no income from players’ “harmful gambling” behavior.
Yesterday’s Kindred announcement also said:
The improvement effect after interventions was 86.4%.
Overall, Unibet is a small US online casino operator. Unibet Casino is in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Its Keystone State position is fairly representative of the operator’s US status: In September, Unibet accounted for 1.7% of Pennsylvania online casino revenue and 1% of sports betting handle.
Five more states have live iGaming marketplaces:
- Nevada (online poker only)
- West Virginia
Rhode Island will join the list in 2024 with an online casino product by Bally’s Corporation (Bally’s Corporation 14,94 -3,98%). It’s still unclear whether it will bear the Bally Casino branding.
Unibet Is Part of the Journey Towards Zero
The Malta-based gambling company has experienced ups and downs in both revenue numbers since starting the initiative in November 2019. That’s when Kindred added its PS-EDS (Player Safety Early Detection System) into its apps, incorporating it on US sites in 2021.
For instance, Kindred’s Q3 2022 revenue from harmful gambling behavior was its highest in the past 12 months – at 3.8%. However, Q3 2022 total revenue decreased 7% vs. Q3 2021. Even so, the bright spot was Kindred saw an 82.6% “improvement effect” after intervening when PS-EDS detected problem gambling behavior among players.
In yesterday’s announcement about the Journey Towards Zero figures, Kindred Interim CEO Nils Andén said:
We have always been clear on that we will not achieve this ambition overnight. Collaboration across industry stakeholders remains a critical success factor, such as our collaboration with the Swedish treatment center Spelfriheten where we address harmful gambling by combining our complementary expertise towards a common goal.
Kindred Isn’t Alone in Seeing Numbers Fluctuate
Jamie Salsburg, a blog author who hosts the After Gambling Podcast, tweeted in February:
Someday we will wake up and realize that 100% of the population experiences:
The level varies from day to day and our activities and environment play a huge role in increasing/decreasing it. But it's an inescapable part of being human.
— Jamie Salsburg (@jamiesalsburg) February 17, 2023