Entain Chairman calls for “firm but fair” UK regulation at World Regulatory Briefing

Entain’s Chairman Barry Gibson took part Monday in a “fireside chat” at the World Regulatory Briefing in London, the flagship event that takes place every year at ICE VOX programme. The event aims to bring together policymakers, regulators and the industry to debate gaming’s key regulatory legal and compliance developments. 

In a session entitled “Behind the Curtains with Entain”, Gibson outlined the need for firm but fair regulation, the ‘gold standard’ being a regulator that has player safety at its core but that also takes into account the interests of – and works in proper consultation with – the broader industry. 

If the UK, which boasts some of the best operators on the international stage, were to adopt such an approach then it has “a clear opportunity to become the global leader in responsible gambling,” he said.

Alongside his comments on regulation, Gibson outlined the “extraordinary transformation” that Entain has undergone over the last few years, and the improvement programmes that are underway in order to cement its position as “a best-in-class, responsible global operator.” 

These have included the complete overhaul of the group’s Board and Executive Committee, a new strategy and vision underpinned by the twin pillars of growth and sustainability, a “revolutionary new way of keeping customers safe” through the ARC (“Advanced Responsibility & Care”) programme; and the launch of the Entain Foundation.

“At Entain we are strong advocates of firm but fair regulation that is rigorous, transparent and evidence-based,” Gibson said. “A good regulator is one that has player safety at its core but that also takes into account the interests of the broader industry – operators, employees, sporting bodies – working in proper consultation with the industry to create an environment that balances an open recreational market with the need to provide the highest levels of player protection. That is the gold standard we should be aspiring to. In my view, Nevada currently gets the closest.”

The UK already boasts a number of world-class betting and gaming businesses, developing and exporting home-grown expertise and tech prowess on the international stage. With gold-standard regulation, Britain has the opportunity to be the global leader in responsible gambling,” he concluded.  

Jette Nygaard-Andersen, Entain's CEO.

Entain has recently shared its financial results for the last quarter of 2022, posting a new quarterly record for both online net gaming revenue and active customers. The group also posted an update for the entire financial year of 2022, for which it expects its core profit to be between £985 million and £995 million ($1.21 billion – $1.23 billion), up from an earlier forecast of between £925 million and £975 million.

The company concluded the year with a strong performance, with group net gaming revenue up 11% in Q4. Entain’s record performance within the online segment – where NGR was up 12% – was credited to a successful World Cup, with the soccer boom partly offset by weather disruptions to sporting fixtures.