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888 investment on hold: FS Gaming to undergo licence review

FS Gaming has confirmed it will cooperate fully with the Gambling Commission in its licence review.

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On 6 June 2023, the investor group FS Gaming offered a 6% stake in 888, but it has since been noted that Entain is currently under investigation by the HMRC – making 888 think twice about the group's proposal.

The investor group proposed wanting its members, Lee Feldman, Kenny Alexander and Stephen Morana to be appointed as Chair, CEO and CFO of 888. However, all proposed appointees previously held positions at GVC Holdings (now Entain).

On 31 May 2023, Entain had an ongoing HMRC investigation regarding its former Turkish-facing business and the company also acknowledged historical misconduct involving former third-party suppliers and former employees having occurred. Entain was being investigated for offences that include, but are not limited to, section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010.

In considering the investment proposal, the 888 Board examined all potential risks related to this.

888 has since been working with the Gambling Commission (GC) in relation to the proposal to seek advice on its decision. The GC expressed its concerns regarding the ongoing HMRC investigation.

The GC requested regular updates from 888 in relation to any new updates in the circumstances around FS Gaming and its proposal, so that it can fully execute its responsibilities as the gambling regulator in Great Britain.

Based on the information received in relation to these matters, the GC informed FS Gaming on 14 July 2023 that it has decided it needs to commence a review of the Group’s operating licences under Section 116 (2)(c)(ii) of the Gambling Act 2005.

The GC confirmed it will be conducting a licence review. FS Gaming has confirmed it will cooperate fully with the GC in its licence review.

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