Business By The Books: US Sports Betting Partner Owes $775M To Settle Alleged Bribery

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Entain, one half of the BetMGM sports betting joint venture, has finally cleared a years-old cloud hovering above the company.

Entain received preliminary approval of an agreement to pay $775 million in various fines relating to alleged offenses under the UK‘s Bribery Act of 2010.

The issues stemmed from a Turkish-facing business that Entain, then GVC, sold in 2017. Another hearing will be held next Tuesday as Entain awaits the final ruling.

BetMGM, meanwhile, will hold a business update at 11 am ET Monday.

Company: not a reflection of Entain, BetMGM

Entain Chairman Barry Gibson made clear to explain that this fine is not representative of the current company or its operations:

“This legacy matter concerns a business which was sold by a former management team six years ago. The Group has changed immeasurably since these events took place, and the DPA process has provided a reminder of the stark differences between the GVC of yesterday and the Entain of today. 

“We are committed to continuing our journey towards operating only in regulated markets, and are now widely recognised as a best-in-class, responsible operator with the highest levels of corporate governance across all aspects of our business.”

Bribery issue affected another sports betting operator recently

Recall that the concerns around the Turkish business were the reason 888 ended talks about bringing in former GVC management over the summer.

FS Gaming took a 6.57% stake in 888, including 2.02% owned by former GVC CEO Shay Segev. FS pitched installing GVC execs as chairman, CEO and CFO, but that led the GB Gambling Commission to open a review into 888’s license.

That led 888, which runs SI Sportsbook in the US, to end those discussions.

Fanatics completes switch in VA

Virginia is the latest state to switch to the Fanatics sports betting brand from the PointsBet brand.

It is the second state in a list of multiple states that were still awaiting regulatory approval when the initial closing of the $225 million acquisition of PointsBet’s US assets closed in August. West Virginia was the first the week prior, which also included the debut of the Fanatics online casino product.

States still waiting for the change: