Entain has voiced acceptance of today’s £17m UK Gambling Commission enforcement action, but noted that the regulator “found no evidence whatsoever of criminal spend within Entain’s operations.”
Earlier the UKGC confirmed that a regulatory settlement had been reached between both parties, which will see the gambling group’s online business pay £14m and its retail business account for the remaining £3m. A threat of licence revocation for “further serious breaches” was also issued.
Responding to the action, Entain has said that it “accepts that certain legacy systems and processes” supporting its operation during 2019 and 2020 fell short of adhering to social responsibility and anti-money laundering safeguards.
The regulatory settlement, the largest UKGC enforcement outcome to date, was reportedly already provided for in the group’s financial statements.
In its response, Entain outline efforts undertaken since the time frame in question regarding the penalty, including an Advanced Responsibility and Care programme and being awarded the Advanced Safer Gambling Standard by GamCare in May 2022.
“Entain has entered into the regulatory settlement with the Commission in order to bring the matter to a close and avoid further costly and protracted legal proceedings,” a company statement read.
“Entain accepts that certain legacy systems and processes supporting the operations of its British business during 2019 and 2020 were not in line with the evolving regulatory expectations of the Commission in respect to aspects of social responsibility and anti-money laundering safeguards.
“However the group also notes the Commission’s statement that it found no evidence whatsoever of criminal spend within Entain’s operations.”
The regulatory action was undertaken after a UKGC investigation discovered a number of social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures across its online and land-based businesses.
The group’s digital division made a divestment of £544,048.03 as well as a payment of 13,455,952 in lieu of a financial penalty, while its retail operation agreed to voluntarily divest itself of £212,849.86 and pay £2,787,150.14 in lieu of a financial penalty.
Furthermore, additional licence conditions will also be added in a bid to ensure an improvement plan is overseen, with a third-party audit review regarding compliance with the licence conditions and codes of practice to take place within 12 months.