GVC to rebrand as Entain Plc to mark “new era of sustainability and conduct”

GVC Holdings has revealed that it will rebrand its corporate identity to “Entain Plc.”

This morning, GVC Holdings presented its latest strategic objectives to investors and analysts, revealing that the company will rebrand its corporate identity to “Entain Plc” as it committed to operating 100% across regulated markets by the end of trading in 2023.

The operator said that this new strategy will be driven by its proprietary technology platform and supported by several strategic initiatives, some of which will launch immediately.

Shay Segev, GVC’s CEO, 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.”

Rebranding as Entain Plc and other strategies

GVC’s decision to rebrand as Entain Plc is subject to shareholder approval and is intended to reflect the company’s new identity under a “re-energised executive leadership team.” The proposed rebranding of the business comes alongside five sustainability “cornerstones”.

The strategy will also see the firm aim to generate all of its revenue from regulated markets by the end of 2023. At this moment in time, 96% of GVC’s revenue comes from markets that are nationally regulated or regulating. The operator expects this figure to hit 99% by the end of 2020.

GVC explained that if it becomes clear that regulation in a market appears unlikely, it would plan to exit the market.

The firm will look to step up its emphasis on player safety and protection, with the launch of the new Advanced Responsibility & Care (ARC) programme. On top of this, additional customer checks will also be implemented across all customers in order to better track the potential for gambling-related harms.

GVC’s player protection efforts will become a key metric for company bonuses going forward. From 2021, a responsible gambling metric will be incorporated into the firm’s annual group-wide bonus conditions.

When it comes to improving corporate governance, GVC said its board and nominations committee will continue a commitment to bring a greater level of diversity to the group, as well as further changes to be made to the board’s membership in due time.

The last cornerstone of the operator’s new strategy is to continue recruiting, retraining and nurturing talent from across the gambling sector while placing a focus on diversity. This element of GVC’s strategy will also include a commitment to wider communities with the launch of the Entain Foundation.

The Entain Foundation will donate £100m over the next five years, which will include the new Pitching In programme which aims to support grassroots sports and sportspeople.

Segev said: “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.”

GVC’s growth strategy

GVC also outlined the growth aspects of the new strategy, splitting this into four strategic imperatives that it said would significantly increase the scale of the business over the next three to five years.

One of these strategic imperatives includes the aim of becoming the leading US gambling operator through its BetMGM joint venture with MGM Resorts. In its presentation, the operator said it already has an estimated market share of 18% across the states where the BetMGM product is available.

The firm also explained how it plans to grow within its core market, having identified “substantial headroom” for further growth in existing markets. GVC will also seek to enter new regulated markets via organic opportunities and mergers and acquisition activities.

On top of this, GVC said it will look to expand to new audiences, referencing esports and digital gaming as areas of focus. The operator said both of these segments are becoming hubs for rapidly growing audiences which will create new opportunities to grow market share.

 Segev said: “Our clear strategy of prioritising sustainability and growth will allow us to achieve these goals, thereby providing long-term value for all of our stakeholders.”

GVC ended its presentation by outlining that its intended changes would reduce the firm’s 2021 earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) by £40m. 

However, the firm explained that the company would secure longer-term benefits, help facilitate corporate growth by expanding its workforce and secure diverse local partnerships, which will help with securing entry into new regulated markets.

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