Entain plc

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1 vote - 4.00/5.00

Entain plc emerged in December 2020 when GVC Holding plc went through an extensive rebranding exercise that would realign the gaming and betting giant with a business strategy to operate in regulated markets only by 2023. The group is listed on the London Stock Exchange as a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index and owns a number of iconic brands including Ladbrokes, Coral, BetMGM, bwin, Sportingbet, Eurobet, PartyPoker, PartyCasino, Gala and Foxy Bingo.

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Untangling the development of the gaming group and the countless changes over time is a true detective job. The beginnings of Entain plc date back to 2004 when the company was founded under the name of Gaming VC Holdings with its main office located in Luxembourg, a well-known European tax haven. In 2010, the name changed to GVC Holding plc which also saw the company moving to the Isle of Man, where it is still headquartered today. A substantial physical presence is being held in Gibraltar for licensing and operational purposes.

Throughout the years, Entain has been focused on vertical and horizontal growth with the latter seeming to be the preferred path. The group acquired numerous globally known brands, some being true household names in the UK and other countries. While growing steadily in its early years mainly with sports betting sites, the company rose to prominence with the acquisition of SportingBet (Australia) in 2013. This was followed in 2015 by the purchase of the holding company of bwin and Party Casino and in 2017 by the takeover of the Ladbrokes Coral Group.

That was still not the end, as Entain created BetMGM in 2018 in a 50/50 joint venture with MGM Resorts International to get ahead of the reopening of the US market. In January 2020, Entain appoint Jette Nygaard-Andersen as their new CEO, the first woman to hold the position at a UK-listed gambling company. At press time in February 2021, the group was operating over 30 brands spread across all continents with a myriad of subsidiaries and offices in numerous locations.

In recent years, their business strategy was adapted to operate in regulated markets only. To achieve the goal, the group acquired a large number of gaming licences that allows it to offer gambling products online and in brick&mortar establishments. The licensing jurisdictions include Alderney, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Great Britain, Greece (interim), Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Malta, Northern Ireland, Philippines, Romania, Republic of Georgia, Spain, Sweden, and the US (New Mexico, New Jersey, Nevada, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Tennessee, Colorado, Indiana, Oregon, and Michigan). In Great Britain, their brands are operating under various licences as the acquired companies kept their own licences when they were folded into the group.

Unsurprisingly, the core business numbers are rather impressive. Taking note of their latest complete yearly filings, Entain had revenues of roughly €3.7 billion and a net income of €140 million in 2019. As per interim reports, the results were even better in 2020 with the group showing significant growth in most areas, quite an achievement considering the global circumstances. The EBIDTA is estimated to increase year on year from €520 million to approximately €900 million. This was aided in good part by highly successful launches in West Virginia, Colorado, Indiana, Tennessee and Pennsylvania demonstrating the strength of the largely sleeping US market which is on a rebound and should return to its former glory and potential in the coming years.

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