Committed to Responsible Gaming

Entain is increasing access to technology and helping to safeguard against the risks that betting and gaming present for some participants.

Contributors

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September 2022

Entain is an international sports and gaming holding company with some of the best-known brands in gaming, including Ladbrokes and Coral, as well as BetMGM, its joint venture with MGM Resorts. The firm’s “Entain Sustain” efforts encompass a broad range of initiatives, including support for responsible gaming, increased access to technology, and greater diversity in the technology sector.

Safer Betting and Gaming

Entain established its Advanced Responsibility and Care (ARC) program to help protect its customers. The program has been tested in the United Kingdom and rolled out to all the company’s brands there. Entain is now beginning to bring ARC to its international brands and geographies. ARC supports responsible gaming with a proactive and technology-driven approach that can be applied across many forms of online sports betting and gaming entertainment.1 It does this while still enabling users to enjoy these platforms and have their privacy protected.

Drawing on behavioral indicators, data science, and analytics to assess risk in betting and gaming, ARC uses advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to learn and identify risks in player behavior, with the aim of intervening before a customer reaches a harmful level of play. Users are offered tools designed to limit their exposure to risk.

The AI identifies 26 “markers of protection” and unusual patterns in the type and length of a players’ behavior, both in terms of time played and the value of their deposits. When potentially risky behaviors are observed, a player will be interrupted in real time and invited to implement a control, such as taking a 15-minute break from play or reducing the amount of money they have on deposit. If the unusual customer behavior continues, ARC can mandate a break or even block the customer for 24 hours. Customers also have access to a player protection team that is available 24/7.

Early results demonstrate the effectiveness of ARC. Customers have shown they like it, with more than 50 percent of the highest-risk customers using the ARC program.

Entain has observed high-risk customers moving to the medium/lower risk category, and 30 percent fewer low-risk customers becoming classified as medium/high risk. The support tools the AI system recommends have been more than 80 percent accurate and appropriate in identifying customers who can benefit from the tools. Entain is working to improve that percentage.

Treatment of Problematic Gaming Behaviors

Entain has pledged to give 1 percent of its gross gaming yield to the research, education, and treatment of betting and gaming-related harm. The firm’s research partnerships support the generation of independent and credible scientific literature on betting and gaming. Additionally, the research helps with the development of practical, evidence-led improvements in gaming processes that can make them safer while also leading to a better understanding of gambling and gaming harms and their consequences. Specifically, Entain has:

  • Funded the equivalent of eight full-time researchers focusing on safer betting and gaming and player protection research at the Cambridge Health Alliance Division on Addiction, a Harvard Medical School facility. This work has helped improve the algorithms used by Entain’s ARC program to identify potential harmful behavior.
  • Supported a partnership with the University of Sydney that, after three years, has already produced 11 peer-reviewed papers on gambling, with four more in development.
  • Provided a founding grant to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ International Gaming Institute to establish a betting and gaming research initiative that, for the first time in the United States, will combine scientific research and operational expertise to apply the best practices in responsible gaming, policy, and health.

This support has produced a report on advertising in the United States that aims to inform critical conversations about the role of ads in gambling and gaming settings. The report recommends that gambling operators ensure that their advertising does not target young people and other vulnerable populations. It also suggests restricting sports wagering messages on social media, particularly on the platforms that are popular among underage groups.

Bringing Responsible Gaming to Newer Markets

In late September, Entain became one of six operators (including its joint venture BetMGM) that have come together to agree to the first industry-led responsible gaming standards in the U.S. The principles include commitments to instilling a culture of responsibility throughout the operators’ organizations, preventing the participation of underage individuals, and presenting customers with informed choices about gaming via responsible gaming tools.

Increasing Access to Technology and Improving Diversity in Tech

Entain wants to address the fact that, as of July 2021, 40 percent of the world’s population does not have access to the internet. In November 2021, the firm launched EnTrain, a multimillion-pound-sterling program to promote increased access to technology and greater diversity within the tech sector. The firm’s goal is to positively affect the lives of more than 1 million people by 2030 through providing access to academic and vocational courses, as well as technological expertise and the equipment needed to succeed in those courses.

The four core initiatives of the EnTrain program are:

  • Entain Academy, which aims to support transformative tech training for the next generation
  • Entain Scholarships, which provides a platform for a diverse selection of candidates to become digital pioneers
  • Entain Apprenticeships, which is expanding internal and external apprenticeship programs with both new and existing partners. It will also enable the firm’s apprenticeship partners to provide technology courses for people in developing countries.
  • Entain Partnerships, which will build on the firm’s relationship with organizations such as Girls Who Code and Chance for Childhood, an award-winning charity working in Africa to support the most vulnerable children. Entain Partnerships is also forming new collaborations with charities and nonprofit organizations.

As examples of this support, the firm announced in 2021 that it would provide $250,000 to Girls Who Code to support the organization’s offerings of free coding clubs, at-home training modules, virtual mentoring, workshops, and career fairs. Chance for Childhood, with Entain’s support, changed the first 1,000 days for children in Ghana by supporting 600 out-of-school, street-connected children in Accra, enabling them to access and thrive in early childhood education. The charity also enabled children affected by conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo to access education, and 452 children were reintegrated back into school in 2021.

Sustainable Development Goals

The Sands Capital six investment criteria tend to lead us to businesses that are innovators or vital facilitators of change in industries undergoing significant transformation. Entain is one of many portfolio businesses that create impact by addressing at least one major social or environmental challenge identified by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The efforts by Entain described here support SDG 3, Good Health and Well-Being; SDG 4, Quality Education; and SDG 5, Gender Equality.

References: Unless otherwise indicated all information and data provided here comes from Entain’s ESG Report 2021/2022.
1 Source: Advanced Responsibility and Care (ARC) | bwin (playresponsibly.info)

Disclosures:

The business profiled was selected based on its reported alignment with one or more U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. The views expressed are the opinion of Sands Capital and are not intended as a forecast, a guarantee of future results, investment recommendations, or an offer to buy or sell any securities. The views expressed were current as of the date indicated and are subject to change. This material may contain forward-looking statements, which are subject to uncertainty and contingencies outside of Sands Capital’s control. Readers should not place undue reliance upon these forward-looking statements. There is no guarantee that Sands Capital will meet its stated goals. Past performance is not indicative of future results. All investments are subject to market risk, including the possible loss of principal. Differences in account size, timing of transactions and market conditions prevailing at the time of investment may lead to different results, and clients may lose money. A company’s fundamentals or earnings growth is no guarantee that its share price will increase. The specific securities identified and described do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold, or recommended for advisory clients. There is no assurance that any security will continue to be owned by Sands Capital. All investments are subject to market risk, including the possible loss of principal. You should not assume that any investment is or will be profitable. Company logos and website images are used for illustrative purposes only and were obtained directly from the company websites. Company logos and website images are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners and use of a logo does not imply any connection between Sands Capital and the company. GIPS® Reports and additional disclosures for the related composites may be found in the Sands Capital GIPS Report. PT 2446090

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