Entain plc (LSE: ENT), the leading global sports betting, gaming, and interactive entertainment group, announces that it has taken a £585 million 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 £585 million 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 organisation to have adequate procedures in place designed to prevent persons associated with it from undertaking bribery for the benefit of the commercial organisation.
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 programme 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.
Barry Gibson, Chairman stated “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. We have been working closely with the CPS throughout this process, and they have recognised 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.”
The information contained within this announcement is deemed to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014 as it forms part of English law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. The person responsible for releasing this announcement on behalf of the Company is Simon Zinger, General Counsel. Upon the publication of this announcement, this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.
This document contains certain statements that are forward-looking statements. They appear in a number of places throughout this document and include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs or current expectations and those of our officers, directors and employees. These forward-looking statements include all matters that are not historical facts. By their nature, these statements involve risks and uncertainties since future events and circumstances can cause results and developments to differ materially from those anticipated. Any such forward-looking statements reflect knowledge and information
available at the date of preparation of this document. Other than in accordance with its legal or regulatory obligations (including under the Market Abuse Regulation (596/2014)
as it forms part of English law by virtue of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, the Listing Rules, the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules and the Prospectus Rules), the Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements. Nothing in this document should be construed as a profit forecast. The Company and its directors accept no liability to third parties in respect of this document save as would arise under English law.