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  • Sportsbetting CEO arrested on warrant

    Friday, September 8th, 2006 by Mike

Well, it’s happened again, this time on a Louisiana State Warrant. The CEO of a major sportsbetting firm has been arrested while entering the United States. Over the years, Sportingbet, one of the few true plays on the prospects of the global betting market, increased its exposure to the US betting market through acquisition. Having first bought the offshore betting company BetMaker and renamed it SportingbetUSA, the company then moved on a leading offshore rival, SportsBook, acquiring the company for an initial payment of 35.9m. More recently Sportingbet, who owns Paradisepoker, also acquired ISC Entertainment, the owner of the online sportsbook Mysportsbook.com and the online casino Worldwidegamble.com, for a maximum $39M.

And, whilst many operators of US facing sportsbooks chose to go to ground in the wake of the Betonsports debacle, on the morning of 7 September 2006 Sportingbet announced that it had entered into preliminary talks that might lead to a bid for World Gaming, an operator of US facing sportsbooks and online casinos.

However, within a few hours of that announcement, the company was forced to seek the suspension of its shares on the London AIM market, following the news that its Non-Executive Chairman Peter Dicks had been detained at JFK Airport by the Police Department of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey at approximately 2.00am BST on Thursday, 6 September 2006, in repsonse to an arrest warrant issued by the state of Louisiana relating to gambling by computer (LA R.S. 14:90.3(E). He is now fighting extradition to the state.

In the past, Sportingbet had allegedly provided funding for Casino City in its court battle with the Department of Justice that was heard in the Middle District Court of Louisiana. The state is one of the few in the US that actually has a law against internet betting.

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