Major player in the gambling industry Entain has announced an agreement with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to settle an investigation into its past business operations in Turkey. This deferred prosecution agreement (DPA), which received the nod from Dame Victoria Sharp, the president of the King’s Bench Division, will be subject to final approval by the Court on December 5.
This settlement stems from HMRC’s investigation into Entain’s activities in Turkey, dating back to before the company divested its Turkish assets in 2017. The company faces allegations related to bribery in its legacy business.
Under the terms of the DPA, Entain has agreed to a financial payment of £585 million (approximately $737.5 million). In addition to this, the company will make a charitable donation of £20 million (around $25 million) and cover £10 million (about $12.5 million) in costs incurred by HMRC and the CPS. These payments will be made over a four-year period, following court approval.
This development adds to Entain’s existing challenges, including issues of investor confidence and shareholder satisfaction. This week two hedge funds invested in the firm openly questioned Entain’s leadership, in particular that of its current CEO, Jette Nygaard-Andersen.
Entain has emphasized its cooperation with HMRC and the CPS, and its commitment to adhering to regulations. Barry Gibson, Entain’s chairman, reflected on the situation, stating, “This legacy matter concerns a business which was sold by a former management team six years ago. The Group has changed immeasurably since these events took place, and the DPA process has provided a reminder of the stark differences between the GVC of yesterday and the Entain of today.” He further expressed the company’s intention to operate solely in regulated markets and uphold high standards of corporate governance to avoid repeating past mistakes.
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A follow-up announcement from Entain is expected after the court hearing on December 5.