Entain plc agrees to £585 million penalty in Turkish bribery matter

Haley Hintze Author Photo
Haley Hintze
Posted on: November 27, 2023 04:57 PST

Entain plc, the owner of nearly three dozen popular online-gambling brands around the globe, has agreed to pay £585 million in fines and profit disgorgement as part of a deferred prosecution agreement with the UK's Crown Prosecution Service, in connection with legacy activity connected to its former operations in Turkey, a grey-market jurisdiction, that violated the United Kingdom's Bribery Act of 2010.

The settlement announced by Entain on Friday is expected to conclude an investigation launched by HM Revenue and Customs that began in 2019 and that will be finalized by HMRC next week. The settlement will also include a charitable donation of a charitable donation of £20 million and a £10 million assessment to cover HMRC and CPS expenses, bringing Entain's total outlay to settle the matter to £615 million, or about US $775 million.

The settlement will be paid in four annual installments from funds that Entain had previously announced it had set aside to cover its expected penalties in the matter. Entain sold off the Turkish-facing operations six years ago, and the bribery allegations involved both prior company officials and former third-party suppliers to the company.

Offenses predated Ladbrokes Coral era

The Turkey-facing unit involved in the bribery matter was sold off just prior to Entain (which was then known as GVC Holdings) acquiring the Ladbrokes Coral brand family in late 2017. The company also owns partypoker, bwin, and is a part owner of the BetMGM brand among its numerous brand holdings.

“This legacy matter concerns a business which was sold by a former management team six years ago," said Barry Gibson, the chairman of Entain plc. "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."

Featured image source: Entain plc