888 UK Licence Review Discontinued With No Further Action

March 25, 2024
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The Gambling Commission has discontinued its licence review of William Hill and Mr Green parent company 888 Holdings and will take no further action against the operator. 
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The Gambling Commission has discontinued its licence review of William Hill and Mr Green parent company 888 Holdings and will take no further action against the operator.

A spokesperson for the Gambling Commission said 888 made assurances it is no longer pursuing a proposal to appoint ex-GVC chief Kenny Alexander and other executives to key leadership roles.

“As a result of this, alongside wider assurances provided as to those involved in the management of the operator (888), it has not been necessary for the commission to make any determination in this case or to make any assessment of the suitability of the proposed individuals,” the Gambling Commission told Vixio GamblingCompliance.

Possible penalties faced by 888 included immediate suspension, revocation of operating licences, or the imposition of licence conditions or financial penalties.

The licence review was first announced by 888 on July 14, 2023, alongside news that the company was rejecting a proposal by executives Lee Feldman, Kenny Alexander and Stephen Morana to respectively become chair, CEO and CFO of the operator.

A review into the licence was triggered as a direct consequence of the trio, under the name FS Gaming Investments, buying a 6 percent stake in the company.

The Gambling Commission said: “This new team had formed the core of the management team previously in place at GVC (now Entain), and this proposal would necessitate both a Change of Corporate Control application as well as a series of Personal Management Licence applications.”

The regulator also asked questions about the risks and appropriateness of the proposals.

“We remained unsatisfied with the responses to these questions, and so instigated a s.116 review of the licence on the grounds that we believed it was appropriate to do so in all the circumstances.”

In December 2023, Entain agreed to pay a £585m penalty, with additional costs, in return for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) deferring any potential prosecution over bribery allegations relating to its former business in Turkey, largely dating back to its days as GVC.

888 did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

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