Entain responds to KSA's BetCity fine

The investigation, spanning from December 2022 to February 2023, centres on compliance with instructions issued by the KSA to BetCity in September 2022. These instructions were known to Entain before the acquisition's completion on 12th January 2023, with the acquisition's legal documentation containing customary contractual safeguards.

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In response, the KSA has imposed a €3m ($3.2m) fine on BetCity, citing failures in anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CFT) practices.

Under the Wwft regulations, gambling providers must diligently monitor customer transactions, report suspicious activities to the Dutch Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and conduct thorough client research to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. 

This development follows Entain's completion of the €450m ($485m) acquisition of Dutch betting operator BetCity in January 2023.

The acquisition, involving an initial payment of €300m and additional payments pegged to BetCity's performance, aimed to leverage BetCity's local expertise alongside Entain's global platform, intending to provide customers with an expanded product range.

Post-acquisition, Entain initiated improvements to BetCity's procedures and control frameworks. It has been stated they have collaborated with the KSA investigation and affirms its commitment to working transparently with regulatory bodies across its operational markets to ensure player protection.

Entain’s recent history includes various ventures and acquisitions, notably its agreement to acquire SuperSport and settlements with regulatory bodies. Entain's share price has seen fluctuations, with the recent drop below £8.00, the lowest since August 2020, drawing attention from financial analysts.

Past penalties levied against the company, such as the £585m fine for conduct in Turkey and a settlement of £17m to the Gambling Commission, have prompted questions about Entain's financial decisions and leadership capability under CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen.

Investors and analysts remain watchful of Entain's response strategies amid declining share prices, with speculation emerging about potential moves by MGM Resorts International to bid for BetMGM, focusing solely on the joint venture rather than acquiring Entain in its entirety.


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