UK-based online gambling firm Sportingbet has announced that it is moving the group’s operations to the Channel Islands, largely because of uncertainty over the operational requirements due in September’s Gambling Act 2005.
A statement from the company said that the board had chosen the Channel Islands because of the more defined regulatory environment, and that it will have left the UK by 1 September.
Sportingbet, which has been forced to reorganise the structure of its business since the US introduced the Unlawful Gaming Enforcement Act last year, added that it expected to incur a £13.5 million charge as a result of the move.
In related news Bwin management dismissed a report by Austrian daily WirtschaftsBlatt, which claimed that Sportingbet could become a core shareholder in Bwin, as “pure speculation.”
A spokesperson for the Austrian online gaming firm did confirm that talks over the proposed purchase of Sportingbet were still progressing.
EU Steps Up Against Restrictions on Online Betting
The European Commission has launched the second stage of legal proceedings against Denmark, Finland and Hungary over what it sees as measures to restrict the free movement of sports betting services. It has demanded, in the form of reason opinion, that the EU member states amend their laws, after calling them unnecessary and discriminatory.
The Commission also added that existing national operators could not be counted as non-profit operations, as they are subject to strict annual revenue targets and often rely on commercial retail outlets to market their services.
If the three countries do not give a ’satisfactory’ reply within two months, the matter will be referred to the EU courts.
Sportingbet, Neteller Sign Agreement With US
Online Togel Hongkong gaming firm Sportingbet is said to have reached an ‘amicable solution’ with Louisiana’s district attorney. A statement from the firm said that all related warrants issued by state police had been cancelled with immediate effect, adding that the St Landry District Attorney now considered the matter closed.
Last September, the Louisiana State Police issued a warrant for Sportingbet’s then-chairman Peter Dicks on charges of “gambling by computer.” Dicks was set free by the US authorities later in the month.
In further news, online payment processor Neteller has signed an agreement with the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York outlining terms and a timeline for the transfer of funds back to its US customers.
Ron Martin, group president and chief executive of Neteller, released a statement saying: “We continue to be committed to returning funds to our US customers and working with the US Attorney’s Office. Progress, while not always visible to the outside observer, has been steady and these agreements mark a milestone in the process.”
The company said that it hopes the process will be completed within 75 days.