Ladbrokes Coral owner GVC Holdings has announced plans to change its name to Entain in order to reflect its goal of becoming the world leader in gambling-related entertainment. The name change is subject to shareholder approval.
“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,” said the firm’s chief executive Shay Segev, in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.
Paddy Power Betfair rebranded as Flutter Entertainment last year in order to reflect a broader portfolio, which now includes the likes of Sky Bet, FanDuel, Fox Bet and Poker Stars. GVC Holdings also owns Bwin, Gamebookers and other brands, while it has a 50-50 US business, BetMGM, in partnership with MGM.
“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,” added Segev. “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.”
Elsewhere, GVC agreed a six-year partnership for WTA tennis data to use for live betting services on its various brands. Jamie McKittrick, commercial director at GVC, said: “The WTA tennis tour is very popular for bettors across our territories and using the best available in-play data means we can offer the best in-play experiences.”
Flutter Entertainment was the biggest riser on the FTSE 100 on Thursday after the UK government announced a slew of local lockdown measures. The restrictions are designed to fight the spread of Covid-19, and come into force when the national lockdown lifts on Wednesday.
The FTSE 100 fell 28.16 points on the back of the news, but some businesses saw their share prices increase. Paddy Power Betfair owner Flutter was the biggest riser, up 545p to 13845p, ahead of DCC, Polymetal, Reckitt Benckiser and Homeserve.
People are expected to spend more time gambling online while restrictions are in place, giving Flutter a boost. It continued to climb on Friday morning, before closing at 13705p.
William Hill is the best performing gambling firm in the Financial Times’ Diversity Leaders Index, which is composed by Statista. The index rates companies on inclusiveness, improving diversity and gender balance, and openness to sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age and disabilities.
William Hill ranked 150 out of 15,000 companies that have more than 100,000 employees, with a score of 7.58. The only other gambling firm to make the list was GVC, which ranked 793, with a score of 6.98.
William Hill also unveiled a suite of responsible gambling material across social media as the operator raises awareness during Safer Gambling Week 2020. Anthony Joshua and AP McCoy are brand ambassadors urging social media users to gamble responsibly via William Hill’s channels.
In the United States, William Hill has absorbed the Caesars sportsbook, with customers transferring over to the William Hill site. The two firms have a business agreement in the US, and Caesars is in the process of purchasing William Hill for £2.9 billion, subject to regulatory approval.
Another British bookmaker making strides in the US is Betfred, although it was just hit with a $5,000 fine for update a self-ban list into its system within the required seven days. Spread betting operator Points Bet was also fined.
“In this particular situation they [Betfred] had an employee that was responsible for downloading that did the download a day early – and then subsequently the following week was late with the download,” said Iowa Racing and Gaming administrator Brian Ohorilko.