Entain's 2020 Win is a Win for the UK Market, and the Entire iGaming IndustryPublished January 27, 2021 by Lee R
A breakthrough year from one of the UK's key operators bodes well for the sustainability of iGaming.
Leading UK-listed gambling giant Entain Plc has revealed welcome indications of resilience in iGaming's largest market.
The good news starts with the hiring of Entain's new CEO, and continues with a 41% rise in online revenue for Q4 2020.
Meeting the New CEO
The new leader is CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen, who replaces outgoing Shay Segev. Segev announced he was stepping down earlier this month effective immediately, leaving his availability until July 8th to answer questions from his successor.
Nygaard-Andersen moves up from her post as Entain's independent director since 2019, when the company was known as GVC Holdings.
Nygaard-Andersen's previous executive service stretches across a number of major European non-gambling firms including media conglomerate Modern Times Group and Danish shipping giant AP Moeller-Maersk.
Hitting the Ground Running
Nygaard-Andersen “cannot wait to get started” in her new leadership role, and is focusing on extending Entain’s “extraordinary momentum” in existing markets while expanding into new regulated markets within a “deeply wedded” commitment to Entain's player-protection imperative.
This marks the inaugural ascendance of a female to the top spot in a publicly traded UK gambling operator, a position Denise Coates currently holds with private-owned online betting giant Bet365.
Second in Command
To assist Nygaard-Andersen, Entain CFO Rob Wood has been promoted to deputy CEO. Wood will oversee company retail operations in the UK, Belgium, Ireland and Italy; and M&A activities.
Woods will be tasked with addressing the fallout from MGR Resorts cancellation of its acquisition of Entain; while overseeing efforts to acquire Optibet and Ninja Casino parent company Enlabs out of Latvia.
Entain's Thursday press release further revealed group revenue was up 7% in the final three months of 2020 thanks to online operations offsetting predictably major declines at the retail (land-based) level.
Online sports betting carried the day with a 25% year-on-year increase for Q4, with margins improving by 2.4 points for a whopping 59% rise in betting revenue. Online casino/poker/bingo revenue rose another 28%.
With online revenue improving 27% as retail dropped 37%, Entain maintains its original forecast of FY20 earnings of £825m-£845m, providing an exemplary case study on how iGaming is capable of offsetting covid-induced land-based losses in iGaming's most important market.