The leading global betting, gaming and interactive entertainment group, Entain, announced that it has set aside some £585 million ($747 million) regarding its ongoing deterred prosecution agreement (DPA) negotiations with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) over an investigation by the HMRC for one of its former Turkish-facing businesses. The business, which was under the name of GVC Holdings, before it was sold by Entain in 2017, was probed over alleged breaches of Section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010.
In light of the investigation by the HMRC, previously, Entain confirmed that it entered into DPA negotiations with the CPS to resolve the years-long issue. After a few years into the issue, the company confirmed that it may be able to resolve the HMRC investigation.
The terms of the DPA remain subject to approval from a judge but Entain believes that setting aside £585 million ($747 million) as a potential settlement may resolve the issue. The aforementioned sum, if such resolution is approved, would be paid by the company over a period of four years. Although the provision of the hefty sum was announced Thursday, Entain said that it may seek judicial approval at some point in Q4 2023.
“While the full terms of a DPA are subject to judicial approval, the Company has a sufficient degree of confidence to take a provision of £585 million against a potential settlement, which would be paid over a four-year period in relation to alleged offences under Section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010,“
explains a statement released by Entain
The Company Updated Its Bribery Policies
Barry Gibson, Entain’s chairman, said that the company is delighted to see progress on the years-long issue, involving a business that was sold nearly six years ago. He explained: “We have been working closely with the CPS throughout this process, and they have recognized our extensive cooperation.” Last but not least, Gibson noted that Entain improved its strategy, business model and culture in the last few years.
“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.“
Barry Gibson, chairman at Entain
Since the launch of the HMRC probe, Entain has gone through an extensive review and update of its anti-bribery policies and procedures. Ultimately, the company sought to update and improve its policies, complementing and strengthening its compliance with different markets around the globe.
With the latest update, Entain hopes to resolve timely the matter. Currently, the company holds licenses in more than 40 jurisdictions and is recognized as a leading betting, gaming and entertainment company around the world.