Entain, the global sports betting and gaming group, has, in principle, reached a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the Crown Prosecution Service, which received preliminary judicial approval from Dame Victoria Sharp, President of the King’s Bench Division, at a hearing last week at the Royal Courts of Justice sitting as the Crown Court at Southwark. Entain will now seek final judicial approval from the Court on 5 December 2023.
The DPA relates to HMRC’s investigation into the company’s legacy Turkish-facing business, which the Group sold in 2017, and the activities of former third-party suppliers and former employees of the Group. It arises from alleged offences under Section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010 and, in particular, the failure of the company to have adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery. The DPA is a voluntary agreement and, subject to final Court approval and compliance with its terms, would fully resolve the HMRC investigation into these matters insofar as they concern the Company and the Group.
The terms of the DPA are in line with the provision announced on 10 August 2023. The Company has agreed to pay a financial penalty plus disgorgement of profits totaling £585m, to make a charitable donation of £20m and to pay a contribution of £10m to HMRC and the CPS’s costs. The financial penalty, disgorgement of profits and the charitable donation will be paid in installments over the term of the DPA, which will be four years from the date of the final Court approval.
The Company has co-operated extensively with HMRC and the CPS and will continue to co-operate with the authorities into the future, pursuant to the terms of the DPA.
Barry Gibson, Chairman, stated: “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. We are committed to continuing our journey towards operating only in regulated markets, and are now widely recognised as a best-in-class, responsible operator with the highest levels of corporate governance across all aspects of our business.”
A further announcement will be made following the hearing on 5 December 2023 and details of the finalized DPA will be provided at the appropriate time.