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Bookmaker GVC to exit unregulated markets by 2023

·1-min read
A sign hangs outside a branch of Ladbrokes in London

(Reuters) - Ladbrokes and bwin owner GVC Holdings <GVC.L> said on Thursday it was committed to relying on nationally regulated markets for all of its revenue by 2023 as new boss Shay Segev laid out aggressive plans to transform and expand the business.

Unregulated gambling markets in Asia and North America make up a big portion of the global online gaming market. About 4% of the company's revenue currently comes from these markets, and GVC said by the end of the year the number would be cut to 1%.

The bookmaker, which will be renamed Entain Plc, said its new plan would cut operating profit by around 40 million pounds ($52.73 million) in 2021.

GVC's previous chief executive, Kenny Alexander, who transformed the group into one of the world's largest gambling businesses during 13 years at the helm, stepped down in July and was replaced by Segev.

Segev will focus on sports betting and gaming entertainment, areas that have prospered from people staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The pace of change shows no sign of abating, and new trends are emerging in betting and gaming entertainment that are continually opening up new audiences," the company said in a statement.

The new strategy also includes adding responsible gambling metrics into remuneration across the group, as it addresses issues of problem gambling and safety.

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva, Bernard Orr)

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