The company has one year to withdraw from these markets if progress is not made in creating regulatory standards in each of them.
United Kingdom.- The Crown Prosecution Service (Crown Prosecution Service, CPS) ordered a Etainowns brands like bwin, Coral, Ladbrokes, PartyPoker and Sportingbetlet him be left alone Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Peru within a year or lose the protections of his deferred prosecution agreement in the UK worth £600m. However, the company retains little room for maneuver.
Entain agreed to pay a large fine in exchange for the CPS delaying any possible prosecution of bribery allegations relating to its former business in Turkey. However, the duration of the processing agreement (DPA) also includes specific orders that Entain must comply with, including leaving the so-called “markets under regulation”.
“Entain must exit all gambling markets where it currently operates and whose markets are not yet subject to gambling regulation,” the DPA said. Specifically, the CPS defined the markets in question as Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Peru.
“The wider gaming industry may wish to reflect on the implications of this agreement for their own corporate compliance procedures and, where appropriate, take steps to address and report any deficiencies they identify. The CPS will continue to work closely with law enforcement partners in this area,” said Chief Crown Prosecutor, Andrew Penhalewho added that this resolution should serve as a precedent and a warning to other companies.
The UK tax authority, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), issued an additional warning. “HMRC is committed to creating a level playing field for businesses and this decision should serve as a wake-up call to others to make sure their houses are in good shape,” said research director, Richard Las.
Entain has one year from the date of the court order to comply with the requirement. The operator told the CPS that, apart from these four markets, it does not operate in any jurisdiction “where gambling is not currently legal under local or European Union law”.
An additional provision in the DPA allows Entain request an extension if you have reason to believe that “the regulatory process will be completed” soon, as is the case in Brazil. But it sets an upper limit of a maximum of one year after the initial court order, that is, within about 24 months from the date of the decision.
Peru is implementing a regulatory decree to allow online gambling operators to obtain licenses and is expected to begin issuing them next year, but in the meantime an uncertain regulatory calendar could force exit from the market. The long legislative saga in Brazil seems to be about to end, sports betting and online casino games are directly licensed for the first time under Bill 3626/23 approved by the Chamber of Deputies and awaiting a vote in the Senate that could happen next week . However, the final text of the new law in Brazil has not yet been approved and the process has suffered many delays over the past five years.
Legislation to open online licenses continues in Chile, but there are still intense debates within the bill, which in any case currently includes a one-year “cool off” period for those market operator.
In Mexico, the situation is more difficult, because the current legal framework allows licensed operators to collaborate with third parties to offer online gambling through their licenses. Entain has partnered with a local casino through its bwin brand. However, local operators now face a new presidential order that appears to ban this practice, even if the licenses expire.