GVC to Rebrand as Entain Plc
British sports betting and gambling firm GVC has announced plans to change its name to Entain. The move comes as part of new chief executive Shay Segev’s plans to give the company a fresh overhaul. Other plans include exiting all unregulated markets, enhancing player protections and honing in on new markets.
A New Direction
GVC CEO Shay Segev has laid out an innovative and far-reaching strategy to bring the gambling firm up to date. Titled “A Clear Strategy for Sustainability, Growth and Innovation”, Segev’s plan includes rebranding GVC and commitments to exit unregulated markets. The announcement marks the start of Segev’s leadership, taking over from Kenny Alexander who quit in July.
One of the most innovative steps that Segev is to put in motion is to change GVC’s name to Entain plc. The rebrand aims to reflect the position of the company within the evolving industry. The name, which is subject to shareholder approval, is also intended to mark a new chapter for the company, reiterating its commitment to being a leading force in sports betting and gaming entertainment.
Segev’s rebrand makes it clear that he wants to distance himself and the company from past interpretations. GVC has previously been associated with large buyouts and offering gambling to unregulated markets. Segev has essentially committed to wiping the slate clean and cleaning up the company’s act. Launching the new strategy, he said:
“Today marks an exciting new chapter for the Group, and an important step forward in achieving our ambition of being the world leader in sports betting and gaming. Under our new corporate identity, we will continue to use our unique technology platform to build on the exceptionally strong momentum that we have in our existing markets, grow into new markets, reach new audiences, enhance the customer experience, and provide industry-leading levels of player protection.”
Under its new name, the company also plans to pull out of all unregulated markets. It has committed to exiting all unregulated markets by 2023. Furthermore, by the end of 2020 it predicts that 99% of the group’s revenue will come from regulated and regulating markets. As it currently stands, 96% of the group’s revenue is derived from regulated markets.
The announcement has also detailed the launch of a new program to boost player protections. The ARC, or Advanced Responsibility and Care, program will see more checks on players carried out as well as enhancing monitoring and interventions.
US Sports Betting Market Grows
Other key aspects of Segev’s strategy for the company include incorporating responsible gambling metrics into remuneration company-wide and launching the Entain Foundation to support communities in which it operates. Segev has also noted four key areas in which the company wants to pursue growth. It will continue to focus on its core markets, as wells entering new markets and new audiences. The US market will be of key importance, as the emerging sports market there continues to expand.
Since PASPA was overruled by the Supreme Court in 2018, it has been up to US states to legislate for themselves on whether sports betting should be allowed. For many states, the answer has been a resounding yes, with the result of that being a rapidly growing market for operators to capitalize on. William Hill was one of the first operators to bring its experience in sports betting to the US, eventually leading to a £2.9 billion takeover from Caesaers Entertainment in October.
There are now 19 US states in which sports betting has been fully legalized. Six more states are in the process of legalizing, but are yet to launch it. Three of those states, South Dakota, Louisiana and Maryland voted yes on sports bettingon the November 3rd ballot, which also saw Joe Biden win the election.
With ministers in the UK preparing for a review of the 2005 Gambling Act, the US market is looking more appealing than ever to operators like Entain. New legislation in the UK could see a crackdown on sports betting sponsorship, caps on online slots and an end to online casino VIP schemes. However, until the review is completed, it is hard to predict how strict new rules could be.
For now, Shay Segev is committed to ensuring that the operator will move forward in step with the industry. GVC is already one of the UK’s leading sports betting and gaming operators, and is listed on both the London Stock Exchange and the FTSE 100 Index. Operating under a new name, Segev is keen to take Entain to new heights. Underling his commitment to creating practical and long-term solutions for the benefit of the company and its customers, he explained:
“We are absolutely committed to pursuing the highest standards of corporate governance, to providing outstanding career development opportunities for our colleagues, and to supporting the communities in which we operate. Our clear strategy of prioritizing sustainability and growth will allow us to achieve these goals, thereby providing long-term value for all of our stakeholders.”