After last week it was revealed that Entain’s Ladbroke business claimed over £57 million in furlough in 2020, and the BBC reported that the company claimed a further £44 million of furlough money last year to protect jobs against possible layoffs and redundancies, the gambling giant decided to respond to the criticism. Jette Nygaard-Andersen, the company’s boss used a recent interview with The Times to provide more details about her role within the gambling operator, the new challenges it encountered and the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on its business.
The CEO of Entain responded to the BBC reports, saying that the gambling giant may decide to return the furlough money. Still, the matter is subject to constant consideration because Entain is trying to keep its team members protected. In addition, as Casino Guardian reported last week, Entertain actually did not do anything illegal when claiming the furlough money because it was legally provided with the chance to do so.
Ms Nygaard-Andersen also explained that the threat of the coronavirus pandemic still looms over the country and its economy. She also confirmed that the money that Entain received from the UK Government’s furlough scheme helped it keep the jobs of 14,000 staff members, offering them a full salary at a time when a large number of people were losing their jobs or worked on reduced payment schemes.
Entertain’s boss further explained that the company’s board would continue to monitor the situation, take any potential dangers into account and consider the impact which a new increase in coronavirus cases on a global scale may have on its performance. Ms Nygaard-Andersen emphasised that the Government had put the furlough schemes in place for a reason, so the gambling company simply took advantage of an opportunity provided by the authorities.
Entain Remains on Track with Problem Gambling Protection and Safe Gambling Initiatives
Another issue that was commented on in her interview with The Times, was safer gambling. Since she was appointed to the CEO position at Entain, Ms Nygaard-Andersen has been avidly promoting safer gambling and has been working to expand the gambling operator’s participation in a number of social initiatives. The brands of the company have pledged to make an effort to eradicate the revenue generated by problem gamblers.
Since the rebranding experienced by the company which changed its name from GVC Holdings to Entain, the gambling operator has been considered one of the main pillars of responsible gambling and high industry standards promotion across the sector. Some of this came along with the legacy of GVC Holdings but some were part of an entirely new approach of the operator that has provided it with the chance to escape some of the old ways and priorities, which the former CEO Kenny Alexander had been headed it to.
The legacy of GVC Holdings has not affected Entain’s growth plans in a negative way. On the contrary, the new chief executive officer of the company has specifically addressed the matter of the grey area market withdrawal, a move that was initiated under the leadership of the previous CEO, Shay Segev.
Apart from helping Entain move on track with social responsibility and safe gambling practices, Ms Nygaard-Andersen has been trying to keep the gambling company’s reputation intact. The CEO, however, has raised a red flag, saying that further restrictions imposed on the UK gambling sector through burdensome laws and stricter regulation may have the opposite effect on companies. She recommended a more balanced approach to be adopted by the authorities in order to keep a healthier relationship with the sector.