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888 Licensing Review Concludes Without Penalties

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has wrapped up its license review of 888, initiated on July 14, 2023, there will be no further action taken with no license conditions, or financial penalties. This development signals a clear path forward for 888, with its stock seeing a slight uptick to 87.20 GBP per share at the close of trading on Friday.

A Period of Scrutiny for 888

The review period was notably tense for 888, coinciding with actions from FS Gaming, a significant shareholder with a 6.6% stake, aiming to instigate change within the company. FS Gaming’s proposals, which were met with resistance from 888 due to concerns over potential UKGC scrutiny, included significant restructuring proposals. Among the suggested changes was the appointment of Kenny Alexander, former GVC CEO, as the new boss of 888, along with other strategic leadership appointments.

FS Gaming’s Rationale and 888’s Response

FS Gaming initiated a push for change after a challenging period for 888, which, in their view, would benefit the company by bringing in seasoned industry veterans. The investment company had the backing of former GVC exec and Entain CEO Shay Segev.

888’s apprehensions were grounded in the historical context. Entain, GVC’s successor, faced investigations by the HM Revenue & Customs over its Turkish business arm during Alexander’s tenure, culminating in a settlement with the regulator in 2023.

Despite these pressures, 888 opted out of the proposed corporate overhaul to maintain its compliance posture and avoid potential conflicts with regulatory expectations. Judging by the outcome, this was a strategic move for 888.

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