Entain Converts UK and Italian Betting Shops into Digital Hubs

Global sports betting and gaming group Entain announced today a new initiative across its retail business that will see a number of betting shops in key locations in the UK and Italy redesigned.

 

New-Style Digital Hubs

The complete makeover of Entain’s retail shops will commence from its outlets across the Ladbrokes, Coral and Eurobet brands in the UK and Italy, where the group has already run successful trials of the new design and format that will convert its shops into contemporary, digitized spaces and will align retail and online experiences.

 

Entain’s retail business employs around 13,000 people, and the group’s betting shops “are at the heart of local communities,” outlined Andy Hicks, Retail Managing Director for the UK and Ireland at Entain.

 

We want to bring the experiences customers have with us online into our shops, also making them more digital and contemporary environments.  We want to offer local customers a place to socialize, enjoy sports, bet and play games in a relaxed and enjoyable way.”

 

Andy Hicks, Managing Director, Retail, UK and Ireland, Entain

Following the easing of restrictions in the UK, Entain opened 18 new digital hubs and is planning on opening another 12 of the new-style Ladbrokes and Coral betting shops by the end of 2021. It hopes to have a total of 200 UK digital stores by the end of 2024. The cities of Leeds, Birmingham, Sunderland, Newcastle, Leicester, Wolverhampton, Portsmouth, Dumfries and London are among the first to feature the 30 new-style shops slotted to open by the end of the year.

 

‘More Engaging In-Shop Experience’

Commenting on the shedding of retail units, Entain CFO and Deputy CEO Rob Wood said that the group’s focus would be to offer its customers “a great local experience” and that the investment in the high-street shops’ makeover would allow the company to introduce “a more immersive and joined up online omni-channel experience.”

 

Since high streets re-opened, our retail customers have returned in large numbers which reflects the continued demand from customers for an engaging in-shop experience. This digital makeover of shops, together with ongoing investments into our industry leading tech platform and £100m of innovation investment over the next 3 years, are important drivers of our future growth.”

 

Rob Wood, CFO and Deputy CEO, Entain

The new digital hubs will feature the latest gaming machines and interactive displays, including digital window displays and additional interior screens for live events and new promotional content, to ensure retail customers have a more engaging experience driven by a bigger choice of interactive sports and gaming content.

 

Entain’s Eurobet brand, which operates in Italy, will see around 200 shops being converted, of which 30, including a number of “Eurobet Cafes,” should open by the end of the year to “move from simply offering betting shops” to places offering good time, with or without placing a bet, Entain’s managing director for Italy, Andrea Faelli, outlined.

 

Earlier this month, it became clear that Entain is an acquisition target for Boston-based operator DraftKings after a bid of around $22 billion was tabled by Entain’s US competitor.