Entain Has Released an Update on Ongoing HMRC Investigation and DPA Negotiations
Entain plc (LSE: ENT), the global leader in sports betting, gaming, and interactive entertainment, provides an update regarding its ongoing investigation with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
The company is currently engaged in deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) negotiations with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) as it works towards resolving the matter.
In November 2019, Entain Holdings (UK) Limited, a subsidiary of the company, received a production order from HMRC, requiring the submission of information relating to its former Turkish-facing online betting and gaming business, which it owned from 2011 to 2017.
Initially, the investigation focused on third-party suppliers involved in processing payments for online betting and gaming in Turkey. However, on July 21, 2020, the scope of the investigation expanded, encompassing potential corporate offenses by an entity or entities within the Group.
The offenses under investigation include, among others, section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010.
Entain acknowledges that historical misconduct may have taken place involving former third-party suppliers and former employees in its former Turkish-facing business. The company remains fully cooperative with HMRC and the CPS throughout the ongoing investigation.
It is important to note that the investigation's conclusion remains uncertain at this stage. While the possibility of prosecution against a Group entity or entities exists, the company is actively seeking to finalize DPA negotiations with the CPS. The ongoing negotiations are subject to judicial approval before reaching a resolution.
The investigation's consequences are expected to include a significant financial penalty, the exact amount of which is yet to be determined. Entain is unable to reliably estimate the size of the financial penalty at this time.
Since the investigation's initiation, the company has conducted a comprehensive review of its anti-bribery policies and procedures. It has taken proactive measures to strengthen its overall compliance program and enhance related controls.
The Board of Entain has announced its contentment with the progress made thus far in discussions with the CPS. The company looks forward to bringing an orderly conclusion to this matter.
Continued Cooperation from Entain
While uncertainties persist regarding the outcome of the HMRC investigation, Entain remains committed to transparent communication and cooperation. The company's focus on reinforcing its compliance framework underscores its dedication to maintaining the highest standards of integrity and responsible business practices.
Entain will continue to provide updates as the situation progresses, ensuring stakeholders and all interested parties are informed about developments surrounding the HMRC investigation.