Gambling Giant Entain Eyeing The Metaverse With $133 Million Investment

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Sports betting and gaming company Entain PLC (LON:ENT) is set to invest $133 million in an innovation lab to develop immersive gaming in the metaverse. The initiative, known as Ennovate, will include partners the likes of Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ), BT Group (LON:BT.A), and Theta Labs.

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Metaverse Ambitions

As reported by CNBC, gaming company Entain is launching Ennovate, a project conceived to develop immersive gambling and entertainment in the metaverse. The initiative comprises the funding of several start-ups and the development of applications for nonfungible tokens, and virtual and augmented reality.

Ennovate will see an investment of $133 million and will entail consumer testing of various new products in two retail experience zones.

Entain’s CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen said in a statement: “We want to lead the way with new, exciting products and experiences for customers and use our cutting-edge technology to pioneer innovations in sport, gaming, and interactive entertainment for the metaverse.”

Ennovate —which is set to be released in March, in London— will be backed by Verizon, British telecom company BT, and blockchain industry company Theta Labs.

Business Opportunity

Entain owns Ladbrokes, Bwin, Coral, Party Poker, and Sportingbet. Gaming is set to be a cornerstone in the metaverse experience for users, as the inclusion of cryptocurrencies, virtual worlds, and communities is long anticipated.

Since October, when Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:FB) announced its metaverse project, interest has nothing but skyrocketed. Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) predict that potential investments in the metaverse could represent up to $8 trillion.

According to Markets Insider, “Shares in Entain, formerly known as GVC Holdings, rose 0.86% Monday on the London Stock Exchange.”

Dom Grounsell, deputy director of digital at Entain, said in a statement: “We're developing new interactive entertainment experiences, with more gaming and social features, because it's increasingly clear this is what people want.”

Last year, MGM Resorts —its joint venture partner— offered to buy Entain valuing it at an estimated $11 billion. However, the board brushed off the offer as it “significantly undervalues the company and its prospects”.