Ladbrokes and Coral owner Entain agree to pay £585m after bribery probe

Ladbrokes and the Coral owner have agreed a deal with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to pay £585 million to settle a bribery investigation.

Entain is paying the amount following a Bribery Act investigation by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) into its former Turkish business.

During the investigation, activities were carried out by suppliers and former employees of the Entain group.

HMRC looked in particular at the company’s alleged failure to have adequate anti-bribery measures in place.

Of the financial penalty of more than half a billion pounds, £20 million will be paid to charity and £10 million to HMRC and CPS to cover their costs.

The firm’s chairman, Barry Gibson, said: “This succession case concerns a business which was sold by a previous management team six years ago.”

He said the group “has changed immeasurably since these events took place”.

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

The agreement on Friday received preliminary court approval. Final approval is sought on 5 December.

Once final approval is given, payment will be made in four installments.

Entain said in a market update on the London Stock that it has “co-operated extensively with HMRC and the CPS and will continue to co-operate with the authorities in the future”.

Entain sold the Turkish business in 2017.

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