Internet gaming group BETonSPORTS , which removed its Chief Executive, David Carruthers, from his post following his detention in Texas last month, closed its U.S.A. facing business.
The company said it would cease operations in Costa Rica and Antigua, where its U.S. operations are based, because they were no longer viable amid a restraining order on the business and the charges faced by former Chief Executive David Carruthers.
BETonSPORTS said it would also pay any liabilities to staff and creditors and repay balances due to U.S. customers.
Carruthers and seven others have already pleaded not guilty to racketeering and other charges. A U.S. court had extended to August 14 an order barring the online bookmaker from taking U.S. bets.
The charges allege the company failed to pay U.S. excise taxes on more than $3.3 billion in wagers taken from U.S. bettors. The government is seeking forfeiture of $4.5 billion, removal of access to BETonSPORTS’s websites in the United States, and the return of money held for U.S. account holders. The United States is the bookmaker’s biggest market.
BetCorp Hangs Up USA Phone Wagering
Betcorp, the AIM-listed online gaming company, has announced that it is no longer taking telephone bets from American residents, and is reviewing its US-facing businesses which currently account for up to 85% of revenue, in the wake of the BetOnSports affair.
Chief executive Colin Walker explained that Betcorp would continue to monitor its US-facing businesses in the light of continued uncertainty about the legality of online gaming.
‘We’re registered in Antigua, where we take bets, and the view we had understood from our legal advisers was that we had been acting legally and appropriately. Recent events have cast that into doubt.’
Betcorp shares plummeted more than 40 per cent in value following the arrest of BetOnSports chief executive David Carruthers, forcing the company into a geographical expansion outside of the US, with Europe being its primary focus.
This latest news comes as Betcorp reported a 146 per cent jump in pre-tax profits to $4.6 million during the six months to the beginning of July, whilst total gross revenues from players rose 75 per cent to $22 million and active customers increased by a third during the period to 27,281.
UK and European-focused gaming giant Ladbrokes criticised UIGEA
On Tuesday, 31 October, the UK government will be hosting the Remote Togel Gambling Summit at Ascot Racecourse, where politicians from 30 countries will be gathered to promote and debate regulation of the online gaming sector.
Ladbrokes” statement voices the company”s support for the approach of the UK government. Spokesperson Ciaran O”Brien said: “The attempt to prohibit online gambling in the United States is doomed to failure. Over 20 million people play online poker in the United States and they will continue to play while there are sites willing to accept them. Unfortunately many of these sites will not adhere to standards of social responsibility or player protection.”
O”Brien added that gambling was a massive industry in the States and “the legislation there is aimed at protecting vested interests rather than consumers.
“The UK Government is taking the right approach enforcing high standards of regulation in return for licensing and regulation that protects and reassures consumers is the only way forward. This will ensure gambling is kept free from crime, is fair to the consumer and protects the vulnerable and under-aged.”