Entain expects £585m settlement over Turkish bribery claims

Entain faced an investigation by the HMRC.
Entain faced an investigation by the HMRC.

Entain has reported its quarterly results.

UK.- Entain expects to pay £585m in a settlement related to allegations of bribery involving a former Turkish operation. The company expects to make the payment over a four-year period in a deferred prosecution agreement with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The operator had announced in May that it faced an HMRC investigation over the matter. The resolution still requires judicial approval, which Entain expects the HMRC to seek in Q4 2023. It said that it expects to be given “full credit for its extensive co-operation with the investigation prior, and subsequent, to entering into any DPA”.

It noted that the agreement only covers the company, which leaves open the possibility that individuals could face charges over historical misconduct. The ongoing investigation meant that 888 last month had to drop plans to appoint former Entain CEO Kenny Alexander as CEO after the Gambling Commission warned that it could lose its licence as a result. 888 appointed Per Widerström as CEO instead.

Entain chair Barry Gibson said: “We are pleased to be making good progress towards drawing a line under this historical issue, which relates to a business that was sold by a former management team of the group nearly six years ago.”

“We have been working closely with the CPS throughout this process and they have recognised our extensive co-operation. Following a complete overhaul of our business model, strategy and culture in the last few years, the Entain of today bears no resemblance to the GVC of yesterday.”

Entain first half results

For the first half of the year, Entain has reported £2.40bn in revenue. Online revenue was £1.68bn, up 145 per cent year-on-year. Sports net gaming revenue rose 6 per cent to £742.2m. Retail revenue was up 11 per cent at £709.3m while US revenue from BetMGM rose 65 per cent to $944m.

Entain eyes Brazil

Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen said that Entain was ready for the Brazilian sports betting market to go live, “hopefully at the beginning of next year”. The company runs Sportingbet and Betboo brands in LatAm, and Sportingbet aims to compete in Brazil based on the quality of its product.

“We are pleased to see that regulations have been passed in Brazil, which should allow licensed operators to commence early next year, subject to a pathway proposed by the regulators,” Nygaard-Andersen said.

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