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Entain Director Reflects on "An Unpredictable Year"

Entain Director Reflects on "An Unpredictable Year"

In November 2020, GVC Holdings decided to accompany its new strategy with a different name for the company. It’s since been known as Entain Plc, although it remains in firm control of its major gambling brands such as Ladbrokes, Coral, Foxy Bingo, Gala Bingo, and Party Casino.

When it unveiled its new “core strategic pillars of sustainability and growth” last year, it became apparent that the company is still intent on expanding into new markets. However, it also wants to focus some attention on staff career development, responsible gambling, and community-based projects.

Now that 2020 is finally behind us, Entain’s Director of Corporate Affairs took the opportunity to talk to The Betting and Gaming Council about the highs and lows of what it refers to as “an unpredictable year for everyone”, as well as its hopes for the year ahead.

Grainne Hurst says that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has tried to meet its challenges “head-on”.

Thanks to its new name, leadership, purpose and vision, Entain is now on a mission to “revolutionise” the world of gambling to deliver “the most exciting and trusted entertainment for every customer”.

She goes on to acknowledge the hard work of the company’s employers over the past year, and in particular, their efforts to ensure that safer gambling is at the top of everyone’s agenda. She also points out that Entain was voted as Safer Gambling Operator of the Year at the 2020 EGR Awards.

But Hurst is equally quick to state that the company by no means intends to sit on its laurels. Instead, it wants to be “the pioneers” who lead the way for the rest of the industry by continuing to build on the foundations that it has established in safer gambling over the past year.

Progress is also planned for Entain’s new Sustainability Charter, with the company committed to only operating in regulated markets by the end of 2023.

2020 has also helped it to discover that “technology has no limits” and, therefore, it has been able to improve on its “in-house capabilities” to identify and tackle problem gambling in new ways such as through modelling tools, allowing it to make early interventions when necessary.

Plans may change – Offer made on Entain by MGM Resorts International

In light of emerging news that a US partner of Entain, MGM Resorts International, has made an approach to buy the company outright with an offer worth over £8bn, we wonder if Hurst was, in fact, taking the opportunity to ‘talk up’ the company.

The bid by MGMRI represents a 22% premium on share price, but should the share price go higher, maybe the premium will increase too? It has been stated that Entain thinks this price undervalues the company, but the fact that they have not dismissed the offer totally means that the Entain name may disappear less than a year after it came into being.

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