Entain Braces for £585m Turkey Sportsbook Settlement Linked to 2010 Bribery Act

  • Entain has set £585m ($743m) aside for alleged offenses in the GVC era
  • Alleged offenses relate to GVC’s business in Turkey with Sportingbet
  • Bribery probe halted Kenny Alexander’s careful plot to become 888 CEO
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Entain has set aside an eye-watering sum to cover the legacy issue inherited from its GVC days. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Global iGaming giant Entain has set aside £585m ($743m) for its ongoing deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) discussions with England and Wales’ Crown Prosecution Service, (CPS), for the settlement of alleged offenses committed when the firm formerly known as GVC was under the leadership of Kenny Alexander.

Entain made the announcement Thursday about the hefty provision to cover itself for the potential settlement, which it plans to pay over four years, in relation to alleged offenses under Section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010. The alleged offenses relate to business deals between GVC and its former Turkish subsidiary, Sportingbet, with the historic business between the pair under investigation by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

GVC eventually sold Sportingbet in 2017. A year later, with Alexander still CEO, GVC purchased Ladbrokes Coral for £3.2bn ($4.06bn). The combination of Ladbrokes’ then 3,700 UK retail betting shops and GVC’s iGaming brands, including PartyPoker and PartyCasino, transformed the firm into the global iGaming gambling giant it is today.

the Entain of today bears no resemblance to the GVC of yesterday”

This success, however, wasn’t what Entain Chairman Barry Gibson meant in the news release when he stated: “….the Entain of today bears no resemblance to the GVC of yesterday.” Gibson was, rather, expressing how Entain was pleased to be drawing a line under the legacy issue relating to Sportingbet “sold by a former management team of the Group nearly six years ago.”

The former head of that management team, Alexander, recently had his carefully crafted potential return to industry via 888 Holdings blown away when the UKGC announced a probe into the Turkish business, giving 888 “no option” but to terminate CEO talks with the ex-GVC exec.

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