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Entain’s BetMGM venture could be winner as Japan mulls legalisation of sports betting

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The proposed legalisation of sports betting in Japan could benefit Entain PLC (LON:ENT), according to analysts.

The Japanese government is in discussions to legalise sports betting on the nation’s two most popular sports, baseball and football, the Financial Times reported overnight, as Tokyo looks for additional tax revenues amid continuing pressure on finances from the pandemic. 

This could lead to the opening up of a sports betting market worth an estimated US$65bn a year.

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

MGM, Entain’s partner in the US in BetMGM, remains the sole bidder, along with its partner Orix, for an integrated resort and casino in Osaka, Japan’s third-largest city, the broker noted.

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

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