GVC Denies Benefiting From Turkish Market
The so called “grey” markets in the online gambling are open to interpretation to say the least. In the last few years the most sought after personnel in the online gambling world are compliance officers. Yes that is correct, there not a serious company that operates online gambling that does not have heavy resources invested in compliance officers that need to keep up with seemingly daily changes in the global online gambling industry.
Now we all know that a major factor in many new jurisdictions insisting on a lot of red tape to acquire licenses to operate legally in their back yard are nothing more than a money grab. The notion that their main concern is ensuring the public’s safety and protecting them from unscrupulous operators is hard to believe. A good example of such an operator is that of GVC Holdings who were operating in the grey market of Turkey until their proposed merger with Ladbrokes Coral, Reportedly their Turkish operations made up one third of the company’s annual revenues. CEO Kenny Alexander knew and realized that in order for the merger to get the green light from authorities he would have to sell of their Turkish Arm which he did for $186 million.
A report in the Sunday times however has suggested that Alexander sold the Turkish arm to a friend and business partner whom he has known for over 20 years. This was denied by GVC who said that the Turkish business was sold last year in a transparent process that was overseen by investment bank Houlihan Lokey and that all details has been disclosed. This news saw shares fall by as much as 8 percent during the day where GVC tried to refute the report. These types of accusations can have long term consequences on GVC who are entering the lucrative but tightly regulated U.S gambling market.