I have said before that things move fast here at Entain. Even by our own standards, though, these past few months have been something of a whirlwind of activity, and all topped off with a handful of award wins across both sides of the Atlantic.

Of course, our priority is not on winning awards alone – as we all understand, at every level of Entain, our focus is resolutely on the customer. Nevertheless, it is gratifying to see our work recognised in such a way and to feel that the changes we have made in building a ‘new business’ in Entain are delivering results that are becoming more visible to a wider audience.

I updated you a few months ago about our refined strategy and our focus on being the leader in betting, gaming and interactive entertainment, and on keeping the customer at the heart at all that we do. Through this clear focus we have developed the values that guide how we progress as an organisation. These are:

  • Excite customers
  • Drive innovation
  • Do the right thing
  • Win together
  • Be bold

With our twin strategic pillars of sustainability and growth, they form our DNA and will help us remain a very successful business for years to come.

These values guide us as people and as an organisation. With our twin strategic pillars of sustainability and growth, they form our DNA and will help us remain a very successful business for years to come. I look forward to continuing to realise Entain’s potential and to seizing the significant opportunities that lie in our path.
One of our core beliefs, that reflects our value of ‘Do what’s right’, is that the most sustainable business will be the most successful business. More than ever, sustainability plays an integral role in business success. The recent COP26 event in the UK rang alarm bells for the future of our planet; it is clear that the time to act is now.

Across the world, Entain is making a difference and taking a lead. We are a member of FTSE4Good, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and are AA rated by MSCI. We have committed to net zero emissions by 2035 (15 years earlier than targets set out in the Paris Climate Agreement) and we are going further, removing carbon from the atmosphere by planting the one million tree ‘Entain Forest’. We are proud to report that the Forest already boasts some half a million trees in the ground.

Last month, we held Entain Sustain, our first ever ESG event. Through keynote speeches, panel discussions and live demonstrations, we outlined one of the core elements of our sustainability programme: our approach to responsibility. At the centre of this is our Advanced Responsibility and Care™ programme (ARC™), our pioneering innovation in player protection powered by intelligent machine learning, AI and hyper personalisation. The initial results from trials our ARC™ system has undergone in the UK are extremely positive. It is actively helping players of UK brands keep their play safe and responsible with 90% of higher risk customers (as defined by the Gambling Commission) showing reductions in risk. This is a very exciting progress in our development of ground-breaking innovative technology-led solution to improving player safety significantly.

Our unique recipe, combining a strong core focus on sustainability, an ability to deliver consistent growth (we have now delivered almost six years of double-digit quarterly online growth), and the importance we place on the customer, has helped us grow to be the fantastic organisation we are today. It is the bedrock of our near and long-term ambitions, and it is rewarding to see that it is being noticed externally too.

As I noted at the beginning of this piece, I was delighted to see us crowned ‘Operator of the Year 2021’ at last month’s EGR Operator Awards and ‘Socially Responsible Operator of the Year’ at the SBC Awards North America. In crowning Entain ‘Operator of the Year’ for the third time in the last four years, the EGR judges pointed to Entain’s market leading position based on 23 consecutive quarters of double-digit online growth, and noted that we, as a Group, are “absolutely smashing it” in the US and “edging it for all sorts of performance reasons”. And at the inaugural SBC Awards North America, in winning ‘Socially Responsible Operator of the Year’, we were credited for our responsible gambling initiatives in the US and wider Americas.

Coupled with BetMGM, our US joint venture, taking home the title of ‘Casino Operator of the Year’ and, back in the UK, our Foxy Bingo brand being crowned EGR’s ‘Bingo Operator of the Year’, it really was a great way to (almost) draw the year to a close. These wins, undoubtedly, are testament to the great work done by our teams around the world as they continue to deliver for customers and their communities.

And so to end on that positive note, with the festive season upon us, I would like to conclude by saying “Season’s Greetings” to you all and wishing you and your loved ones a safe and enjoyable festive season. I look forward to speaking with you in our next update, and discussing more the exciting opportunities we have in front of us, in the New Year.