Entain’s Shay Segev: creating the safest gambling environments

Shay Segev, Group CEO of global sports betting and gaming group Entain, has spoken exclusively to SBC Managing Director Andrew McCarron about the ‘generational transformation’ that the FTSE100 betting group has undertaken after embracing the key responsibility objectives of its new ‘corporate charter’. 

In the interview Segev outlined Entain’s new mission, explaining that the company aims to lead global gambling across all safer gambling, social responsibility and corporate conduct disciplines. 

While acknowledging the firm’s investment in the US was quite late, Segev believes that the BetMGM brand it operates with casino giant MGM is one of the fastest growing in the online sector.

He said: “I think we can say we are the clear number three in terms of market share in the US today, but I’m pleased we are also the fastest growing and taking the most market share. If you look at New Jersey for example we are the largest igaming operator with more than 23% of of market share.”

Segev also marked good progress in West Virginia, Colarado, Nevada and Indiana and the fact that the firm was one of the first to market in Tennessee and could follow that up with aggressive marketing and a more mature sports betting product.

While Entain’s rebrand from its original iteration of GVC Holdings has generated media headlines, Segev stated that the firm’s new charter had been a two-year project, analyzing the gambling operator’s core products and operating units. 

He also highlighted Entain’s recently launched ‘Advanced Responsibility & Care’ (ARC) program, citing it as a game-changing commitment utilizing its proprietary-built technology stack to enhance player protections.

“We are in a unique position, that we are one of the few operators that can control its full end-to-end technology,” he said. “We can therefore monitor all the touchpoints we have between ourselves and our customers.

“We are turning these advantages into creating better customer experiences. But at the same time, we know that this is an opportunity to take this data and information and create the safest gambling environments”.

Segev remarked that Entain’s ARC program would develop the industry’s deepest safer gambling systems and controls – which beyond its technology and algorithmic capacities would be overseen by the academic oversight of Dr Mark Griffiths an expert on gambling harms and problematic behaviors.

Probed on whether Entain’s new leadership team faces a difficult remit in balancing its social responsibility resources with the firm’s accelerated global growth strategy, Segev stressed that the firm’s ARC and CSR charter had been unanimously approved by company shareholders.

“There is simply no conflict,” he noted. “Our shareholders know that we are building value not by chasing every penny in the short-term, but by safeguarding our value for the long term. I made it clear in our strategy, to our employees and to our shareholders is that we won’t take even a penny from vulnerable customers.”

“These objectives are aligned, as providing the safest online environments, will enable us to continue growth in existing markets and establish quicker access to new markets.”