Entain Targets the Metaverse as it Launches New Innovation Hub with £100 Million Investment

International sports betting and gambling company Entain is eyeing the metaverse with the development of VR experiences and NFT launches.
Image source: Entain

Quick take:

  • Entain has announced the launch of its new innovation hub, Ennovate.
  • Plans for the hub include VR arcades and NFT roll-outs.
  • The company plans to open a lab to support the innovation hub.

One of the world’s leading sports betting and gaming conglomerate, Entain, has announced the launch of Ennovate, its new innovation hub, today. Funded with a £100 million ($134 million) investment, Ennovate plans to develop a “pioneering VR multi-sports club experience” and high-street VR arcades, as well as NFTs.

Besides the launch of Ennovate, Entain has also revealed that it will be partnering with Theta Labs to release poker-themed video NFTs for one of its brands, Partypoker. The NFT drop will consist of videos depicting some of Partypoker’s iconic moments in the site’s gaming history and will be listed on partypoker.com’s integrated NFT platform’s application.

In a long-term partnership with Theta Labs, Partypoker will be the first in a series of NFTs due to be rolled out across Entain’s brands. 

For the launch of Ennovate, Entain has also partnered with Verizon and British telecom firm BT. Verizon will help to construct Ennovate’s 5G Lab project while BT will explore Entain’s computing and drive 5G usage.

“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,” said Jette Nygaard-Andersen, Chief Executive of Entain.

To support Ennovate, the FTSE 100 company plans to open a lab in London this spring, where the innovation team will work alongside Entain’s non-profit and commercial partners. 

The lab will feature two retail Experience Zones or VR arcades where customers, investors, partners and employees can test developed immersive metaverse experiences before they’re publicly launched.

As part of the innovation hub, Entain will be rolling out accelerator and incubator programmes. The company plans to invest £5 million ($6.7 million) into startups specialising in immersive experiences, interactive entertainment and the metaverse, who will be invited to participate.

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