HMRC launches Turkish tax probe at Ladbrokes owners

GVC Holdings (UK) Ltd, the FTSE 100 group which owns betting brands Ladbrokes and Coral, has revealed HMRC is conducting a probe into the group’s former Turkish online gambling business

In a regulatory statement, the company said it had previously received an order requiring it to produce information to HMRC for an investigation relating to the processing of payments for online gambling in Turkey, which at the time it understood to be directed at a number of former third party suppliers. 

Subsequently, GVC sought greater clarity about the status of the probe, and says HMRC has said it was widening the scope of its investigation and is now examining ‘potential corporate offending’ by an entity (or entities) within the GVC group which HMRC has not yet identified.

The statement said: ‘Both the company and GVC are surprised by the decision to extend the investigation in this way and are disappointed by the lack of clarity provided by HMRC as to the scope of its investigation.

‘HMRC has not yet provided details of the nature of the historic conduct it is investigating, with the exception of a reference to section 7 Bribery Act 2010, nor has it clarified which part of the GVC group is under investigation. In the meantime, the company continues to co-operate fully with HMRC regarding the provision of information.’

Section 7 states that a commercial organisation is guilty of an offence if a person associated with that company bribes another person to obtain or retain business, or to obtain or retain an advantage in the conduct of business.

The group disposed of its Turkish facing business in December 2017.

HMRC has made no comment, citing taxpayer confidentiality.

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