weather icon Clear

Nevada Gaming Commission OKs license for GVC Holdings

Updated May 23, 2019 - 6:11 pm

One of the world’s largest sports wagering companies has been approved to operate in Nevada.

The four-member Nevada Gaming Commission unanimously approved Isle of Man-based GVC Holdings Plc. for licensing Thursday morning.

The company had previously taken heat from the Nevada Gaming Control Board for acquiring a company that had been running an operation in Turkey, where online gambling is illegal. With licensing approval, GVC joins a growing list of British sports wagering companies entering U.S. markets.

Turkey tensions

The company’s provisional license requires the GVC to return to regulators in two years to re-assess operations. GVC is also tasked with providing the board $100,000 to spend on future investigations into compliance.

The licensing comes after the state Gaming Control Board suggested approval with a 2-1 vote earlier this month. Board member Terry Johnson cast the lone vote against approval and chastised CEO Kenneth Alexander for failing to supervise online gaming transactions in Turkey.

Commissioner John Moran said while a board member voting no is a red flag, he has decided to put his trust in GVC.

“The test is going to see if, in fact, the trust you’re asking us to give you … if we’re going to get egg on our face,” he said. “I want to see you go forward and prosper within the confines of the law.”

In March 2018, the company acquired Ladbrokes Coral Group Plc. and inherited one of its operations in Turkey. Eight months later, the company gave away the Turkish operation to smooth the regulatory approval process for the Ladbrokes transaction. Alexander has said the company is no longer in the market.

“I fully understand and accept that along with the board, and as the CEO, I am ultimately responsible,” he said.

GVC Chairman Lee Feldman said the company has brought in third parties to investigate and ensure the company does not run into more regulatory issues.

“The GVC board and management is absolutely committed first and foremost to legal and regulatory compliance,” he said. “We’ve developed first-tier regulatory and compliance approach and structure but we will not become complacent.”

About GVC

With the commission’s approval, GVC is now part of a British invasion of sports wagering companies making their way into the U.S. Other companies include William Hill, Paddy Power Betfair and bet365.

GVC operates 19 brands across the globe. Last year, it entered a 50-50 joint venture with MGM Resorts International to develop Roar Digital, a new sports wagering operation.

The company is licensed in New Jersey, and partnered with MGM at its Atlantic City Borgata property in poker and online gaming.

The company has about 25,000 employees and is listed on the London Stock Exchange. GVC has grown exponentially with mergers and acquisitions over the past few years, growing from 49 million pounds in 2012 to 3.6 billion pounds — about $4.6 billion U.S. dollars — in 2018, with about $982 million in cash flow last year.

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
Binion's debuts a spinning bar overlooking Fremont Street Experience
Binion's debuted its spinning bar inside the Whiskey Licker Up Saloon. The Rotating bar only goes at one full rotation per 15 minutes overlooking the Fremont Street Experience. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Day 3 of the 2019 Global Gaming Expo
Day 3 of the 2019 Global Gaming Expo took place at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Southern Nevada could set a new resale-price record in coming months.
The median sales price of previously owned single-family homes – the bulk of the market – was $310,000 in September. Before the economy crashed last decade, prices peaked in June 2006 at $315,000, according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.(Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Walmart container park in Henderson - VIDEO
Henderson could be home to a container park associated with a Walmart Inc. initiative. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recession lessons could help Las Vegas face next slump - VIDEO
While the last economic downturn had a dramatic impact on local casinos, most experts expect the industry will be better able to weather the storm during the next recession. (Mat Luschek / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM and victims of Oct. 1 reach settlement agreement - VIDEO
MGM Resorts International and lawyers representing potentially thousands of victims of the Oct. 1, 2017, mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip have reached a tentative settlement of between $735 million and $800 million. (Mat Luschek /Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Live music and EDM dominate the night on day 2 of A’Le’Innstock
After sunset bands rocked the crowds at A’Le’Innstock in Rachel, Nevada on the second night of the event.
iPhone 11 Release
Local Las Vegas long time Apple product consumer shares her excitement for the new iPhone 11 release Downtown Summerlin. (Elizabeth Page Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lihi Levin talks about a mobil app Dropit - VIDEO
Lihi Levin, regional manager at Dropit Shopping, talks about a mobil app Dropit. The app lets customers leave their shopping bags at a store then have them delivered the same day to their home or hotel so they can shop without carrying multiple bags all day. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
North Las Vegas company prepares for Mars - VIDEO
Robert Bigelow and his Bigelow Aerospace manufacturing facility played host to eight NASA astronauts and 60 engineers this week getting to know the company’s B330 autonomous, expandable space station. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas developer talks about a new apartment complex called “the yoU”
Frank Marretti lll, founder of G2 Capital Development, talks about his new apartment complex called “the yoU” near UNLV. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Steel cables will hoist roof at Allegiant Stadium - VIDEO
Stainless steel cables are being put into place at Allegiant Stadium to begin the process of putting the roof on the 65,000-seat stadium in Las Vegas. Stadium Chief Operating Officer Don Webb explains how the cables will be used to get the roof put on the future home of the Raiders and UNLV football. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The last remaining Sigma Derby game in Las Vegas
Derek Stevens, owner of the D Las Vegas, talks about the last remaining Sigma Derby horse racing game in Las Vegas inside his casino floor. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich Review
Janine Blake of Las Vegas gives her review of the new Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich at the restaurant’s location on west Bonanza Road on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019,
SuperZoo 2019 takes over Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas
SuperZoo 2019 show for pet retailers brought pet products of all description to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MSG Sphere at The Venetian to cost $1.2B plus
Scheduled to open in 2021, it is expected to be busier than Madison Square Garden in New York. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Favorite products from SuperZoo 2019
Some of the fun and interesting pet products on display at the SuperZoo in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MAGIC Convention Day 3
The fashion trade show MAGIC, held Monday through Wednesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MAGIC Las Vegas - Day One
The biannual MAGIC convention show opened Monday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant celebrates naming deal with tailgate party
Allegiant Air employees celebrate with a tailgate party after the company’s naming deal with the Raiders for the new Las Vegas stadium.
Nevada's sportsbook operators welcome competition
Sportsbook operators from near and far are looking to get into in the established Nevada market, experts say. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)