Entain plc (LON:ENT), the global sports betting and gaming group previously known as GVC Holdings plc, marked its first day of trading under its new name with a range of new measures to deliver on the vision and direction recently outlined by its CEO Shay Segev. The new measures extend across all of the countries in which it operates with brands including bwin, PartyPoker, Ladbrokes, Coral, FoxyBingo and BetMGM.
Last month Entain announced a new strategy to deliver significant growth, driven by expansion in the U.S., growth across its core business, entry into new markets and to new audiences. Entain, which has a very strong track record of 19 consecutive quarters of double-digit growth in its online business, also committed to lead responsible gaming with a new Sustainability Charter. Under this charter, the business pledged to focus only on regulated markets1 and use its proprietary technology to raise levels of player protection.
As part of these plans to deliver growth and sustainability, Entain today confirmed strong momentum and market share gains in the U.S. for BetMGM, its joint venture with MGM Resorts. Between October and January BetMGM is adding five new states, doubling its population reach in three months to around 75 million across 12 states. Entain also disclosed that BetMGM’s most recent state launch in Tennessee has been its most successful go-live yet with revenues already ahead of those in more established states. Powered by Entain technology, BetMGM expects to be in over 20 states by the end of 2021.
“We are firmly on track to take further leadership in the U.S. market, as well as in many other newly regulated markets that are now opening around the world.” said Segev. “At the heart of our growth strategy is a determination to bring the best player experiences and protections to our industry as technology moves sport and interactive entertainment into a new era. In the U.S., we invested in creating the right building blocks for the BetMGM platform to grow and become a long-term leader in the U.S., with superior technology and capabilities, and this is now paying off.”
Entain also fleshed out its new Sustainability Charter, allocating money to new projects which will be delivered through its international Foundation around the world. It also gave further detail on its new Advanced Responsibility and Care (ARC) initiative, seeking to revolutionise player experiences and protection through world-leading research, data science and technology. Other new measures include:
o Focus on new regulated markets: In line with its stated intention to focus on fully regulated markets, Entain today announced it has become the first global sports betting and gaming operator to gain a licence in Latin America and went live in Colombia yesterday, 9 December 2020. Colombia is one of the first countries to issue licences in Latin America with others, such as Brazil, preparing to follow. Elsewhere in the Americas, Canada is also moving ahead with regulation and Entain confirmed it will be applying for licencing there.
o Investing in people and communities: Entain has pledged to invest £100 million over five years in the Entain Foundation to fund responsible gaming initiatives and to support people and communities around the world where it operates. Today, it announced a series of international commitments:
UK: Entain and the three Trident Leagues (The Isthmian, Northern Premier and Southern Leagues) are to launch the Trident Community Foundation to help fund community-based projects. Grants will be open for the 228 football clubs that participate in the leagues.
“Pitching In”, Entain’s recently launched grassroots sport investment programme, is the founding partner of the Trident Community Foundation (TCF) and has donated £150,000 to establish the TCF fund, for distribution over the rest of the 2020/21 season.
U.S.: The Entain Foundation is rolling out an extensive state-by-state programme with EPIC, a charitable organisation which works with former athletes and people who have overcome gambling addiction to help educate people on how to play safely.
The U.S. project announced today with EPIC extends the programme to a total of 15 Pro Sports teams and over 20 colleges across the country, including Harvard University, University of Oregon, and the Mid-American Conference. Entain and EPIC plan to work together to add additional professional sports leagues and colleges across the U.S. during 2021.
Germany: The Entain Foundation will continue to support existing sports integrity projects in Germany with further financial commitments being provided to initiate a number of activities around responsible gaming.
Australia: The Foundation has announced new projects to advance responsible gaming with Relationships Australia, a community-based not for profit organisation which provides a range of counselling and support services to problem gamblers and their families. The new funding will be used to support a social media campaign to reach vulnerable audiences and to raise awareness of the signs of gambling addiction.
o Advanced Responsibility and Care (ARC): Under this recently announced programme, Entain will combine its technology with research and insight from leading psychologists and Harvard to develop innovative experiences and safeguards for a new era in interactive sport and entertainment. To this end, Entain today announced that:
Dr. Michael Auer, a leading academic and member of the scientific community at the University of Hohenheim in Germany, specialising in behavioural psychology and addiction, will join Entain alongside Professor Mark Griffiths, Distinguished Professor of Behavioral Addiction and Psychology at Nottingham Trent University. They will evaluate and advise on improvements to Entain’s guidelines and processes in relation to responsible gaming.
1. Entain has committed to 99% of its NGR coming from nationally regulated or regulating markets by the end of 2020 and 100% of its NGR generated in nationally regulated markets by the end of 2023.