Entain, the global sports betting, gaming, and interactive entertainment group, announced that it has taken a £585m provision in respect of its ongoing deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) negotiations with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
The company previously announced an investigation by HMRC into its legacy Turkish facing business, which it sold in 2017, and subsequently announced that it is in DPA negotiations with the CPS to resolve the ongoing HMRC investigation.
The DPA negotiations have now progressed to the point where the company believes that it is likely to be able to agree a resolution of the HMRC investigation insofar as it relates to the company and the group. 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 £585m 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. The company currently anticipates judicial approval will be sought during Q4 2023.
Section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010 relates to the failure of a relevant commercial organization to have adequate procedures in place designed to prevent persons associated with it from undertaking bribery for the benefit of the commercial organization.
The amount of the provision has been calculated on the basis that the company will receive full credit for its extensive co-operation with the investigation prior, and subsequent, to entering into any DPA.
Since the investigation first commenced, the group has undertaken a comprehensive review of anti-bribery policies and procedures and has taken decisive action to significantly strengthen its wider compliance program and related controls.
The board looks forward to pursuing an orderly conclusion to this matter and drawing a line under these legacy issues involving former third-party suppliers and former employees of the group. The group is now licensed in more than 40 territories and, as previously disclosed, is committed to operating only in markets that are regulated or where it sees a clear path to domestic regulation.
“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,” said Barry Gibson, Chairman. “We have been working closely with the CPS throughout this process, and they have recognized 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.”