LeoVegas Comments on Insider Trading Report of Spokesman’s Arrest

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LeoVegas Group now belongs to MGM Resorts International. MGM finalized its $604 million acquisition of the international online gambling operator a couple of months ago amid an insider trading investigation related to that acquisition process.

Today, a LeoVegas spokesman answered questions from Bonus about the reported arrest of Philip Doftvik, the LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group corporate finance and investor relations director who EGR reports was apprehended on Nov. 10.

Daniel Valiollahi, LeoVegas Group’s communications and public affairs director, tells Bonus today:

I can confirm that we have been informed that an employee has been notified about criminal suspicion. With respect to the juridical process, we won’t comment on any more details. LeoVegas Group takes ethical conduct and regulatory requirements very seriously, and we are committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and fairness. We have, and will continue to assist authorities with their ongoing investigation.

A Swedish Economic Crime Authority (SECA) spokesman confirmed for Bonus on Nov. 15 that it took action in the insider trading case on Nov. 10. On that day, Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported on Nov. 11, SECA arrested “a top manager at LeoVegas” and two of his “cronies.”

SECA Press Officer Niklas Ahlgren told Bonus on Nov. 15:

We can confirm that this is an ongoing investigation into suspected insider trading and that 3 individuals are currently in custody in the case.

Also asked about Doftvik, Ahlgren said to Bonus today:

We don’t wish to comment further until there are any new developments in the case.

MGM media representatives didn’t immediately respond to Bonus‘s request for comment today.

EGR cited the Stockholm District Court that is prosecuting the case in its article on Thursday. The court also didn’t answer Bonus today.

Despite the controversy, MGM stock has remained unchanged from Nov. 10 to today.

Update: 11/23/2022 – Official No Comment

Robin Simonsson, communications officer for the Swedish Prosecution Authority, responded today to Bonus‘s request for comment from the Stockholm District Court:

Yesterday I forwarded your inquiry to the Swedish Economic Crime Authority, because they are the investigating part for insider trading matters.

Bonus already heard from SECA.

Yesterday, SECA Press Officer Niklas Ahlgren told Bonus:

We don’t wish to comment further until there are any new developments in the case.

Doftvik’s Role at LeoVegas

Bonus reached Valiollahi by emailing Doftvik yesterday. Doftvik’s email address is on many LeoVegas press releases and investor relations publications, considering his role at the company.

On LinkedIn, where Doftvik was active two weeks ago, he describes his duties:

Responsible for LeoVegas Investor Relations and the strategy of message to the financial markets and press. Write and produce corporate material such as quarterly reports and presentations. Analyse and grow a healthy investor base.

I’m also responsible for Corporate Finance and M&A. Example of tasks within that is screening interesting investment cases and potential M&A, competitive analysis to top management and lead all types of corporate finance projects – examples: LeoVegas IPO, the acquisition of Royal Panda and LeoVegas move from Nasdaq First North Premier to Nasdaq Main market.

Yesterday, Bonus received an automated “out of office” email reply. The message included names of colleagues to email in case of an emergency. One of those LeoVegas personnel sent the Bonus query to Valiollahi.

The Insider Trading Investigation

In June, SECA opened its insider trading investigation into LeoVegas Group. The Stockholm-headquartered company issued a press release saying it was cooperating.

Las Vegas-based retail casino behemoth MGM remained interested in LeoVegas, saying this would start its international online gambling presence. (MGM is half-owner of US online casino leader BetMGM. The joint venture with Entain means MGM can’t operate LeoVegas within the US.)

In September, MGM’s Stockholm-based “indirect subsidiary” MGM Casino Next Lion (MGM CNL) finalized its purchase of LeoVegas.

According to MGM’s recent earnings call, the company plans to expand the LeoVegas footprint – perhaps into Brazil.

Meanwhile, based on Ahlgren’s comment to Bonus today, this LeoVegas insider trading investigation isn’t over yet.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is the lead writer at Bonus, concentrating on online casino coverage. She had her first published byline at age 10, but didn't get paid for her writing until she got her first newspaper job. Fletcher's newspaper career started at Suburban News Publications in Ohio and eventually took her to The New York Times, where she's still a contract freelance reporter for the National Desk. She covers breaking news from Philadelphia, as needed. In March 2021, Fletcher began writing about online casino gambling as the lead writer for Online Poker Report.

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