Sponsorship restrictions expected

Entain CEO preparing group for upcoming regulations after appointment of new UK minister in charge of gambling

Jette Nygaard-Andersen, Entain CEO.
Reading time 1:57 min

Entain’s Chief Executive Officer Jette Nygaard-Andersen said she is preparing the gambling group for long-delayed stricter rules expected to come into force under Britain’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss. The CEO said Entain, which owns the Ladbrokes chain of betting shops and online betting businesses, is getting ready for restrictions which could include limits on bets and sports-betting sponsorships. 

As reported by Bloomberg News, Nygaard-Andersen pointed out that restrictions on sponsorships are likely to be introduced. It is a scenario that clubs and football leagues would “like to avoid," she noted. Entain itself sponsors a wide range of sports. 

Back in July, the Premier League -the top level of the English football league system-  postponed a scheduled vote on a voluntary ban on shirt sponsorships by gambling companies. The League was seeking clubs’ support for a voluntary ban that would see betting companies disappear from teams’ shirts within the next three years. 

A review of Britain’s gambling laws was delayed by the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in July. The minister who had been responsible for the bill, Chris Philp, urged leadership to address “the ravages of gambling addiction” in his resignation letter. 

Britain is looking to establish more limits while revenues for its homegrown bookmakers thrive in the US. Nygaard-Andersen said she expects the coming months to be “record-breaking” as a result of the NFL regular season. Entain owns half of online betting operator BetMGM, in a joint venture with MGM Resorts International

Entain last year defended itself against unsolicited takeover offers from MGM and sports betting giant DraftKings, which proposed a merger valued at $22.4 billion. MGM’s CEO recently said he would like to own more of the JV with Entain. 

However, Nygaard-Andersen has stated that Entain is “not a business for sale," according to Bloomberg, and that the focus is set on growing as she sees the brand as “the consolidator."

Michelle Donelan

The UK's new Prime Minister has already appointed a minister to oversee betting laws -Michelle Donelan- who has previously shared concerns with Parliament about the impact of problem gambling. The new Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has been described by local media as a gambling industry critic, having backed stake limits for fixed odds betting terminals and supported restrictions on advertising.

On Michelle Donelan's reappointment to the cabinet, Betting and Gaming Council's Michael Dugher recently congratulated the new Secretary of State for DCMS, saying that it was "well-deserved" and encouraged her to continue engagement with the industry to find "the right balance" in the Gambling Review. 

Donelan worked as Minister of State for Higher and Further Education from February 2020 to July 2022. She was then promoted by former prime minister Boris Johnson to education secretary, but resigned 36 hours later in the days prior to Johnson's step down from his role.

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