GVC Holdings to change name to Entain PLC and exit unregulated markets

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GVC Holdings PLC (LON:GVC) said it is changing its name to Entain PLC as it unveiled a slight strategic shift under new chief executive Shay Segev.

The owner of bookmakers Ladbrokes and Coral, online brands from Sportingbet to Foxy Bingo, bwin and Party Poker, said 99% of its revenue will be from regulated markets by the end of the year, up from 96% currently, and it aims to make this 100% by 2023 by exiting markets in which there are no visible paths to regulation.

Aiming to improve its record on responsible gambling through the use of technology for customer protection, and incorporating responsible gambling initiatives into remuneration, the FTSE 100-listed group said this was expected to result in around a £50mln hit to underlying profits (EBITDA) in 2021.

Segev 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.”

He said growth would come from four areas: an ambition to be the leading operator in the US through its BetMGM joint venture, which has an estimated market share of 18% across the states in which it is active; growing core markets where it sees “substantial headroom” for further growth; entering new markets through organic opportunities as well as M&A; and expanding to new audiences via new technology-enabled forms of entertainment, with significant potential seen as new betting markets evolve around eSports and digital gaming. 

After warning last month of a £37mln hit from new coronavirus lockdowns, the group said strong online trading was now expected to offset this, with full year EBITDA guidance remaining in the range of £770mln to £790mln.

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