Ladbrokes and Sportingbet owner Entain will launch a £40m global innovation hub in London as it looks to accelerate its expansion into entertainment.
The FTSE 100 firm said it will double the 50 data scientists and tech specialists on its payroll in London as part of the new Farringdon-based hub.
The move marks a doubling down on a shift to entertainment after chief executive Jette Nygaard-Andersen announced recently that Entain was an “entertainment company” rather than simply a gambling firm.
The new ‘Ennovate’ hub is set to be operational by Spring and will be delivered alongside Entain’s tech partners Verizon, BT and Theta Labs, bosses said today. The firm expects around 1000 to be involved in the deliver of the project in total.
Nygaard-Andersen signalled that the firm would be looking to tap into so-called Web 3 technology with the new hub, saying that it would use the labs to “pioneer innovations in sport, gaming and interactive entertainment for the metaverse”.
The firm also said it was exploring trailing two virtual reality arcades in London where punters can use virtual reality headsets for interactive gaming experiences.
The Ennovate lab at its new London tech hub would also be made available to not-for-profit partners “to deliver environmental and societal benefit”, Nygaard Andersen said.