SBC News 888 clears UKGC Licence Review with no repercussions

888 clears UKGC Licence Review with no repercussions

The board of 888 Holdings has informed markets that the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) will take no further regulatory action against the LSE-listed gambling group.

This morning, 888 issued a corporate update announcing that the Gambling Commission had completed its license review, initiated in July 2023 due to regulatory concerns raised on FS Gaming’s investment in the LSE firm.

Investors were informed that “The UKGC has concluded the license review without imposing any license conditions, financial penalties, or other remedies on the Group, having been satisfied that the risks to the licensing objectives under the Gambling Act, which led to the review, have been appropriately managed and adequately mitigated.”

FS Gaming is the investment fund of the former GVC Holdings (now Entain Plc) leadership team, comprising Kenneth Alexander (ex-CEO), Lee Feldman (ex-Chairman), and Stephen Morana, who had come under investigation by HMRC.

The review was initiated in July of the previous year after FS Gaming acquired a 6.57% stake in 888. The fund had plans for significant leadership changes and had stated its intent to increase its ownership to above a 10% shareholding, which prompted the Commission’s investigation.

Regulatory concerns were primarily linked to HMRC’s investigation into GVC Holdings’ former business activities in Turkey and subsequent offenses under the Bribery Act 2010.

The HMRC investigation revealed historical misconduct involving GVC’s third-party suppliers and former executives, a conflict settled by Entain last December, who agreed to a £600 million settlement with the Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA).

Under license review,, 888 announced in July 2023 that it had terminated all discussions with FS Gaming. Chairman Lord Mendelsohn explained: “The Board had no choice but to terminate discussions as it simply could not put licenses in our largest market at significant risk.”

888 declared that the Commission ended the review without imposing conditions, penalties, or other measures on its license. The decision allows the LSE-listed gambling group to continue with its corporate transformation led by the new executive team of CEO Per Widerström.

Next week, the board of 888 will publish its full-year results for 2023 on Tuesday, 26 March.

 

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