Ladbrokes Coral owner set to change name and leave unregulated markets

GVC, the owner of Ladbrokes Coral, said it would rename itself to Entain as the company’s new chief executive set out his strategy.

The firm said it would withdraw from all countries where gambling is unregulated, expand into new ones, and aims to become a market leader in the US.

At the moment around 4% of GVC’s revenue comes from unregulated markets. The company plans to decrease that to 1% by the end of this year.

With the remaining 1%, GVC will work with local governments to improve rules, but “if it becomes apparent that regulation in those markets is unlikely, we will exit them.”

“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,” said chief executive Shay Segev, who took over this summer.

He added: “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.”

The new name, Entain, is meant to “reflect the group’s ambition to be the world-leader in sports betting and gaming entertainment,” GVC said. It will change pending shareholder approval.

GVC is also looking at new countries that it can expand into, either organically, or by buying a local company, and is eyeing up new areas to bet on, including the rapidly growing competitive computer game market.

It said that current trading has remained “strong” since an update in the beginning of October.

The £30 million to £40 million benefit of this to earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda), should largely offset a £37 million hit from the shops that are currently closed because of Covid-19.

Ebitda guidance remains at between £770 million and £790 million.

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