GVC Holdings has re-emphasised its ambitions for the United States, as the group again calls on the industry to unite and help drive global social responsibility measures, in the face of increasing scrutiny.
Praising a transformational 2018 as “a strong year with outstanding performance,” the group has called for across the board improvements to standards stressing that “we are absolutely clear that this has to change.”
Lee Feldman, non-executive chairman of GVC, explained: “As an industry leader in the markets in which we operate, our commitment to responsible gambling and social responsibility is of paramount importance.
“We have announced a number of responsible gambling research and education initiatives, backed by a major increase in the level of investment in this area, to twice the contribution called for by the sector’s responsible gambling organisations.
“We have also announced a multi-million pound investment into a new community programme, that will deliver grants to local good causes who promote grassroots sports and tackle men’s health issues, and a three-year partnership with SportsAid, which will deliver funding for 50 aspiring Olympians across the UK.
“In the UK, we whole-heartedly support the decision by the Remote Gaming Association of online operators, to restrict all TV betting advertising around live-sport in 2019. We will continue to work closely with the Gambling Commission in the UK, and support their efforts to provide a safe environment for customers to enjoy their gambling experience.”
Stressing a vision to become “the world’s largest sports betting and gaming business” alongside “the safest and most trusted operator in the world,” the US again came under focus, as its strives to deliver a world class operation alongside its MGM partner.
Kenneth Alexander, CEO of GVC, said of the partnership:”They really have everything we were looking for in a partner. They are a world leading entertainment business, perhaps the most trusted name in gaming, with the highest quality brands and management and strong sports connectivity.
“It’s going to be a three-to-five year journey before we see the majority of US states regulating sport-betting”
“When you combine that with our technology and experience in successfully building online gaming businesses across multiple markets, it creates a formidable combination. The 50:50 structure we have created perfectly aligns our interest and that of our mutual shareholders.”
Adding: “It’s going to be a three-to-five year journey before we see the majority of US states regulating sport-betting. In the shorter term we’re expecting some of the heavily populated North Eastern states such as New York, to regulate maybe the end of 2019 or into 2020.”
One crucial strong point of the 12 months has been a growth in online performance, as GVC stresses that it’s always looking for further M&A targets.
Regarding its online expansion, Alexander added on what he believes were the key drivers:”It comes down to getting the fundamentals of our business right, and giving customers what they want. We’ve enhanced the product offer with new features in our sports-betting and poker products, and have expanded our casino and gaming portfolio with a great raft of new content.
“Our trading operations are also crucial to the success of our digital business. We have built one of the best trading teams in the industry, and they have been key to maintaining and improving our margins. Of course the marketing of our product is also fundamental to growth, and again I think this is something we are doing better than the competition.
“Crucially, we believe in local execution of our strategy. We operate in over 20 countries, and our teams know the markets in which they operate inside-out.”