- Entain owns Ladbrokes, Coral and bwin among other 25 subsidiaries in the sports betting and gambling space.
- The company's new innovation hub Ennovate will partner with Verizon, BT and Theta Labs on projects in the metaverse.
Entain plc., a leading sports betting and gaming company that owns major subsidiaries such as Ladbrokes, Coral and bwin, has announced a new innovation lab targeted at interactive sports in the metaverse.
Dubbed “Ennovate”, the platform will also see an investment of £100 million ($133 million) put into start-ups and applications in the non-fungible token (NFT) space, the company said in a statement.
According to the company, £40 million ($53.6 million) will be used in immersive sports and entertainment projects in the UK market.
Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen said that the sports betting and gambling giant is taking the step as it looks to be a leading player in the race to provide “interactive entertainment for the metaverse.”
She noted that the company seeks to offer its customers new products and experiences, with Ennovate developers leveraging the UK-based firm’s cutting-edge technology to deliver the best in the space.
The firm will also use its position in the tech space to help drive innovation and see broader benefits from the new experiences reach consumers as well as the wider society, she added.
“Our goal is to bring the most exciting experiences in immersive sport, gaming and interactive entertainment to life as the metaverse takes shape,” added Sandeep Tiku, the COO.
Entain expects to have the lab’s first projects roll out in London in March, with initial partners being telecommunications giants Verizon and BT. Blockchain platform Theta Labs is also a partner.
Entain’s venture comes even as a slew of companies look to enter the metaverse space, including big tech firms Meta Platforms, Apple Inc., and Google.
Recently, US retailer Walmart was reported to be making moves into the metaverse and NFTs space.
The virtual world industry is creating a ‘gold rush’ moment for several other companies, including gaming platform Roblox, sportswear giant Nike, and Chinese multinational Tencent.