It was recently reported that Entain, a flagship sports wagering, interactive entertainment and gaming firm, has secured a “£585 million provision in respect of its ongoing deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) negotiations with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).”
The firm formerly reported an investigation by His Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HRMC) into its now-former Turkish business, which was officially sold during 2017, and later revealed that was “in DPA negotiations with the CPS to resolve the ongoing HMRC investigation.”
However, the DPA discussions have now advanced to the stage where Entain thinks it is possible to reach an agreement to resolve the HRMC investigation “as it relates to the company and the group.” It is feeling very self-assured as it has taken a provision of £585 million which it projects to be fully paid over a period of 4 years in connection to the supposed offences under Section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010. But, the aforementioned provision was struck on the presumption that the firm will get “full credit for its extensive co-operation with the investigation prior, and subsequent, to entering into any DPA.”
Commenting on the DPA discussions, Entain President, Barry Gibson, said: “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 recognized 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.”
Furthermore, as the complete terms of the DPA still await judical validation, Entain forecasted that “HRMC will seek it in Q4 2023.”
Section 7 of the Bribery Law:
This DPA is linked to supposed offences under Section 7 of the 2010 Bribery Act, which states that “businesses must put in place proper procedures to prevent people associated with the company for making bribes for the organisation’s commercial benefit.”
Nevertheless, the Group emphasized that the said DPA “only covers the company and the group as mentioned above”, which means that certain individuals can be accused, or they may discuss separate DPAs.
Work on improving the company’s anti-bribery policies:
As soon as the said investigation first began, the firm vigorously fought against any bribery within it, meaning that it carried out a complete review of its anti-bribery procedures and policies. But that’s not all; as it has also done what’s necessary to notably solidify “its wider compliance program and related controls.”
What’s more, Entain’s Board of Directors can’t wait until this matter with Turkish business, previous employees and third-party providers is finally resolved. Therefore, the firm now has over 40 licenses for different countries and cities, and as formerly revealed, is totally devoted to working just in regulated markets or where it may see that domestic regulation is nearly there.