Entain, the global sports betting, gaming and interactive entertainment group, announced the launch of full-time graduate placements at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as part of “EnTrain,” a global initiative recently launched to help candidates from under-represented groups pursue careers in technology.
The graduates will work alongside a U.S.-based team of Entain software engineers and technologists moving to the UNLV campus to work on innovations in gaming entertainment. The intention is to attract existing students as well as applicants from elsewhere.
The goal is to positively impact the lives of over 1 million people around the world, either directly or through their families and dependents, by 2030.
Entain is expanding its physical presence in the state at the Harry Reid Research and Technology Park, home to the groundbreaking Innovation Igniter and other state-of-the-art laboratory programs focused on the sports betting and gaming entertainment industry. The combined team will work as part of Entain’s global innovation network across a variety of areas, including helping to develop innovations to enhance customer experiences and player safety.
“At Entain, we understand our role in society, and we are striving to be a leader in the important area of corporate and social responsibility,” said Martin Lycka, Entain’s senior vice president for American regulatory affairs & responsible gambling.
“We also recognize the need-—today and tomorrow—for creative, technical talent to continue our success, and we are investing now to recruit and develop that talent at UNLV through our EnTrain initiative. We are making measurable progress in this space, but through EnTrain, we hope to go even further and support candidates from under-represented groups who may not have otherwise had a chance to flourish.”
Entain jointly owns, with MGM Resorts International, BetMGM in the U.S., which is No. 2 in the fast-growing U.S. sports betting and iGaming market. Entain’s technology underpins the dynamic growth of BetMGM.
The Harry Reid Research and Technology Park at UNLV is a unique innovation building featuring a state-of-the-art laboratory with an esports arena, virtual reality studio and more. The Igniter curriculum will include practical, hands-on experiences, internships, and mentoring from Entain staff and top executives in the industry, as well as providing the support and resources needed to bring innovations and designs to life.
The announcement follows the launch earlier this year of a first-of-its-kind partnership between Entain and UNLV’s Innovation and Academic Hub. Called the Innovation Igniter, this initiative provides the opportunity for Entain and UNLV to recruit, mentor, support and introduce talented students to the industry and design more inclusive environments in historically male-dominated fields.
Late last year, Entain was ranked as the No. 1 company in the industry for its commitment to diversity and inclusion. The group topped the All-Index list, compiled by the All-In Diversity project, an industry-driven initiative to benchmark diversity, equality and inclusion for the global betting and gaming sector.
Entain is currently two years into its diversity and inclusion strategy, called “Everyone’s in the Game,” which sets out a three-year roadmap toward building a more inclusive business. Under this strategy, initiatives have focused on the four key areas of recruitment, process and policy, people development, and awareness and education.
Earlier this year, Entain appointed Jette Nygaard-Andersen as its CEO, one of the most prominent corporate women leading a FTSE 100 company. In addition to Nygaard-Andersen, three women hold non-executive director seats on Entain’s Board of Directors.
The EnTrain initiative was launched at “Entain Sustain,” first ESG event to showcase its leadership in this important area of corporate responsibility and to outline new initiatives and commitments.
“Entain is an ambitious business. and sustainability is one of our two core strategic pillars. It benefits our customers and is also good for our business and the wider communities we are part of,” said Nygaard-Andersen. “I believe passionately that we have a vital role to play in inspiring the next generation to pursue careers in technology. As we reshape the future of interactive entertainment, we also want to help many more people become involved. Our new EnTrain initiative provides the building blocks to help them, through access to academic and vocational courses and the technological expertise and equipment they need to succeed.”
The EnTrain initiative is comprised of four core pillars:
- Entain Academy: Supplying transformative technology training for the next generation;
- Entain Scholarships: Providing the platform for a diverse selection of candidates to become digital pioneers;
- Entain Apprenticeships: Upskilling and developing our existing employees, and expanding external apprenticeship schemes with new and existing partners; and,
- Entain Partnerships: Partnering and collaborating with organizations around the world that amplify and support diversity in technology.
The Entain Foundation is funding nine apprentices with YGAM (the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust) in the U.K. The apprenticeships, which will start before the end of 2021, range from one to four years in duration. These aim to provide employees at YGAM opportunities to develop new skills in coaching, leadership, and project management.
Daniel Bliss, director of external affairs at YGAM, said of the partnership, “We are extremely grateful for this support from Entain. This initiative will support our ambitious people strategy and help develop the expertise of our staff team. As a result, our charity will be better equipped to continue our growth and increase our social impact.”
In Europe, the Entain Foundation is funding a partnership with the Berlin University of Technology and the Nexus Institute, to develop an international executive training program to enhance diversity in research and development.