Long gone are the days when gambling was strictly a male affair. Today, the online gambling world is experiencing a tremendous shift. The industry is attracting more female managers and gamblers, with Entain appointing the first female CEO ever. But what does this mean to the future of gambling? Let's find out!
If you're a UK bettor, you don't need much introduction to Entain. For those who don't know, this gambling company is the owner of Ladbrokes Coral. Ladbrokes is one of the leading sportsbooks and online casino brands in the UK and the world. Entain purchased this gambling brand in 2017 for approximately £4 billion.
But it hasn't been a smooth sail for this online gambling site. This company has found itself on the wrong books of the UK Gambling Commission on several occasions. In 2019, the company was fined a whopping £5.9 million for failure to adhere to anti-money laundering regulations. Before that, in 2018, the company paid £1 million after one of its clients stole funds to manage his gambling addiction.
After lengthy negotiations, Entain decided to hire Jette Nygaard Andersen, a Danish national, as its chief executive officer. This position was previously held by Shay Segev, who abruptly departed to join DAZN, a sports streaming company. Her appointment on January 21, 2021, brings the total number of female CEOs leading FTSE 100 brands to six.
After her appointment, she said, "I'm very excited to have the opportunity of continuing the extraordinary momentum that Entain has in its existing markets, as well as helping it enter new regulated markets and reach new audiences." All the best wishes to Jette Nygaard Andersen!
Of course, Jette Andersen boasts a wealth of experience in the gambling scene. She joined the company's board as a non-executive director back in 2019. Previously, she served as a non-executive director and chairman of Astralis, a Danish esports team. Plus, she had senior executive roles at a Swedish media firm called Modern Times Group. This company also has interests in esports betting.
Critics are raising questions about the departure of Segev, considering that Entain is currently attempting to repel an £8.1 billion takeover bid from MGM Resorts, an American casino operator. While it seems like she has been thrown under the bus by this appointment, Jette Andersen is already looking forward to success.
Fortunately, the US gambling giant looks to have lost interest in acquiring Entain. Even better, Segev will hang around for six months to help her with the transition as he completes his notice period.
Besides fending off the takeover bid, Jette Nygaard-Andersen will also be responsible for expanding the brand beyond the UK market. For example, the company will be looking to assert itself more in the US following the supreme court's ruling of relaxation of gambling laws. Interestingly, MGM and Entain already have a joint venture in this market.
As said before, Jette Nygaard-Andersen was already a ready-made CEO, making her appointment a no-surprise. Other serving women CEOs in the FTSE 100 are Live Garfield (Severn Trent), Emma Walmsley (GlaxoSmithKline), Alison Britain (Whitebread), Melina Mondini de Focatiis (Admiral), and Alison Rose (NatWest Group). Of course, not forgetting Carolyn McCall, who leads ITV. Sadly, the broadcaster left the FTSE 100 index after Covid-19 hit advertising revenues.
Overall, Jette Nygaard-Andersen's appointment is a sure testament to what women can do in a male-dominated industry. She will wear the big shoes left by Segev to steer the company to greater heights. And perhaps most importantly, Entain's brand new CEO pledged to support industry-leading player protection – an expensive subject for Ladbrokes.