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JPJ Group, which operates online casino brands including Jackpotjoy, InterCasino and Vera&John, has confirmed that Jim Ryan, a non-executive director, has now surrendered share options, bringing the JPJ board into line with the UK Corporate Governance Code.

Ryan, who is also CEO at Pala Interactive, was awarded 30,000 share options – worth around £200,000 at present value – in September, 2016.

“These options were a legacy holding resulting from the more common use of share options to compensate non-executive directors in North America,” the group said in a short statement.

The practice, while common in North America, is not consistent with the requirements of the UK Corporate Governance Code, which requires non-executive directors to be able to act independently. JPJ voted to eliminate the practice at its 2018 annual general meeting.

“Under the existing Remuneration Policy approved by shareholders at the 2018 AGM, non-executive directors are not eligible to participate in any of the company’s share schemes or incentive schemes in the future,” continued the statement.

“The surrender of his options allows Mr Ryan to be deemed an independent member of the board as per the UK Corporate Governance Code. The surrender of options will not involve financial consideration.”

The company also confirmed that Ryan “no longer holds any shares” in the group.