The Kindred Group is home to nine proficient, well-known gambling brands, with each one of these providing a unique offering. These brands are built around the need for keeping players safe, whilst offering a high-quality, enjoyable experience for them. And this has been the aim ever since the company launched back in 1997 under the name of Unibet Group Plc. It provides products for the online casino, poker, sports betting and bingo markets, is registered in Malta and has major hub offices in four other locations. Kindred is also a publicly listed company on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.
Latest Group News
An In-Depth Look at Kindred
Back in 1997, the Unibet Group was founded in order to provide customers with a better and a safer way of being able to engage in betting online. It proceeded to build a reputation as both a disruptor and innovator, swiftly garnering itself a loyal customer base in many countries around the world. The company aimed to offer customers a better gambling experience than the traditional high street betting brands, and this is something that it has continued working towards throughout its existence.
Unibet was founded by Anders Ström from the comfort of his bedroom in Earl’s Court, London, and he was the company’s very first CEO. It was one year later that the brand received its first licence, which came from the United Kingdom, allowing it to provide a betting business over the phone. And then in 1999, Unibet entered into the digital world, launching its first website in both Swedish and English.
When 2001 rolled around, the company expanded its online site to incorporate accessibility for 12 different language groups, allowing customers from over 50 countries to register and place bets. By 2002, the customer base had increased to 200,000 users from more than 80 countries. It was in 2004 that Unibet was listed as part of Nasdaq Stockholm on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.
2005 saw Unibet launch its own mobile platform for users to access, and it would acquire its first two brands in 2007, which we’ll get to a little bit later. In 2010, Henrik Tjärnström took over from Anders Ström as the company’s CEO, and one year later, the brand re-entered the French market, thanks to another acquisition in the form of Solfive. When 2015 rolled around, the company acquired iGame and Stan James Online, which were both integrated into the Unibet platform in 2018.
Towards the end of 2016, Unibet was rebranded as the Kindred Group, shifting towards a multi-brand strategy and possessing 13 brands in its portfolio. Earlier on in the year, it had achieved the 1 million active customers milestone, and at the start of 2017, the company launched a new online casino for the Norwegian market in Storspiller Storspelare. A second brand was launched in Romania in 2018, known as Vlad Cazino. It also secured a Swedish gambling licence at the beginning of 2019 before launching in New Jersey in September and then Pennsylvania in November.
The company has continued expanding with successful launches and takeovers in the proceeding years, and today’s goal is the journey towards zero, following the publication of revenue from harmful gambling figures.
Acquisitions by Kindred
As noted, there are currently nine brands that are active under the Kindred banner, and while one or two of these are in-house creations, the remainder have all become part of the company after takeovers. They date back to 2007, when Kindred (known as Unibet Group then) acquired its first businesses. Take a look at some of its takeovers throughout the years.
- 2007 – Maria Bingo is acquired by the company to further strengthen its position in the bingo market in the Nordics. This site was later developed into Maria Casino. In the same year, it also acquired Bingo.com for $8 million.
- 2011 – Acquisition of Solfive for €5.625 million following approval by ARJEL, resulting in the rebranding of Eurosportbet.fr to Unibet.fr.
- 2012 – Betchoice Corporation Pty Ltd acquired in Australia by Unibet Group, which offered racing and sports betting products. This provided the company with access to the regulated Australian market, and the deal was processed through for a total of A$20 million.
- 2015 – iGame Holding acquired for €59 million and Stan James Online acquired which are both integrated with Unibet in 2018, as well as the Casinohuone and Kolikkopelit brands.
- 2017 – Kindred Group acquires 32Red in June for £175.6 million, which is responsible for 32Red.com, 32RedPoker.com, 32Redbingo.com and 32RedSport.com. This came about as part of the Kindred Group’s multi-brand strategy and desire to grow its business in locally regulated markets.
- 2020 – Blancas Casino in Belgium taken over by Kindred Group, demonstrating the company’s long-term commitment to the Belgian market. The £25 million acquisition allows Kindred to continue offering an attractive service to the Belgian customers.
- 2021 – The Kindred Group completes its purchase of Relax Gaming for €320 million, allowing the company to accelerate its strategy of focusing on product and customer experience via product control and differentiation capabilities.
The nine brands that exist as part of the Kindred Group, either via acquisition or in-house creation, are as follows:
- Storspiller Storspelare
- Vlad Cazino
- Otto Kasino
- Maria Casino
Any Fines or Sanctions?
The Kindred Group has mostly provided a legitimate and reputable service throughout the years, although this hasn’t stopped it from coming up short against regulators and their fines for breaking protocol. Take a look at some of the penalties and warnings that Kindred has received in the past.
- 2019 – €470,000 penalty handed out by the Dutch gambling authority to Unibet for explicitly targeting players in the Netherlands.
- 2019 – £1.6 million settlement reached with UK Gambling Commission for failures in social responsibility and anti-money laundering procedures.
- 2020 – Swedish Administrative Court hands out a SEK 100,000,000 ($12 million) financial penalty to Kindred via subsidiary Spooniker for repeated bonus violations. The fine was halved in June 2021 following an appeal by Kindred.
- 2021 – Fine of A$48,000 by the Liquor & Gaming New South Wales body for illegal gambling advertising in New South Wales.
- 2022 – Kindred Group censured by Danish Gambling Authority, which issued a two-month deadline for anti-money laundering breaches to be addressed and rectified.
- 2022 – Kindred subsidiary Trannel International told to either leave Norway or face increasing fines of up to $140,000 per day. The company was accused of operating illegally in the country by Lottstift, the Norwegian gambling regulator.
Kindred has now been around for a considerable number of years, making it one of the mainstays of the iGaming industry. Has it also managed to turnover a large amount of profit while operating, though? Here are some facts and figures surrounding its activity and financial status:
- For quarter 1 of 2022, the company has seen revenue of £246.7 million, marking a decline of 30% on the same period from last year.
- The underlying EBITDA for the same period stands at £24.5 million, a reduction of 77% on Q1 of 2021.
- Kindred Group had 1,377,317 active customers in Q1 of 2022, which is a 24% reduction on the same period last year.
- Annual report for 2021 displays revenue of £1,259.6 million, making an increase of 11% on the previous year’s results. Underlying EBITDA for the same period stands at £332.1 million, which is an increase of 15%.
- Number of employees working for Kindred in 2021 reached 2,055.
- Latest share price – SEK 95.42 as of May 25, 2022.
Office Locations for Kindred Group
The Kindred Group has its registered office in Valletta, Malta, which is also where it holds one of its gambling licences from. Yet there are other locations where it has offices, which include the following:
- Sydney, Australia
- Darwin, Australia
- New York, USA
- Milan, Italy
- Paris, France
- New Jersey, USA
- Madrid, Spain
- Stockholm, Sweden
- London, England
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Antwerp, Belgium