Officially announced on Tuesday

Entain to pay $774M to settle bribery probe over former Turkish subsidiary

Reading time 1:30 min

Online gaming giant Entain has reached an agreement to settle a probe into alleged bribery at a former Turkish subsidiary. The company behind Coral and Ladbrokes will pay a £615 million ($774.4 million) settlement, approved by a High Court judge through a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The settlement was officially endorsed on Tuesday, marking the resolution of an HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) investigation into the company's activities.

The DPA sees Entain compensating £585 million ($744.5 million) as a penalty, accompanied by an additional £10 million ($12.59 million) covering the investigation and a £20 million ($25.18 million) charitable donation distributed over four years.

The investigation primarily revolved around Entain's former Turkish-facing business, which the corporation divested in 2017. It was scrutinized for alleged insufficient anti-bribery protocols, with investigations focusing on both former employees and suppliers associated with the business.

Notably, Entain had already set aside £585 million in August, anticipating potential penalties arising from the investigation. 

In a written ruling, Judge Victoria Sharp said: “Whilst the conduct is undoubtedly serious, the other factors suggest that the interests of justice are best served by the DPA. There have been sweeping changes to the compliance procedures in place.”

This Deferred Prosecution Agreement stands as one of the most substantial corporate criminal settlements ever in the UK.

Andrew Penhale, Chief Crown Prosecutor, expressed satisfaction with the approval: “We are pleased to announce today the approval of the first ever CPS Deferred Prosecution Agreement. The Court has concluded that there have been sweeping changes to the company’s compliance procedures and that Entain is committed to the promotion of open and transparent gambling operations."

Barry Gibson, Chairman of Entain

Barry Gibson, Chairman of Entain, articulated relief as this resolution brings closure to a prolonged investigation: "We have cooperated extensively and proactively at every stage of the process which, I am pleased to say, has been recognized by the Court. Entain has now fundamentally and profoundly changed. We can now concentrate on the future."

Entain is also facing a fine in the Netherlands as the Dutch gaming authority, the Kansspelautoriteit, has levied a penalty of $3.26 million (EUR 3 million) on its BetEnt subsidiary, operating as BetCity, a company acquired by Entain in January.

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