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Hope for Betonsports players

Discussion in 'Casino Industry Discussion' started by jetset, Oct 18, 2007.

    Oct 18, 2007
  1. jetset

    jetset RIP Brian CAG

    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service

    Crippled company gains access to Antigua-Barbuda funds

    Bloomberg business news reports that Betonsports plc, the British Internet sportsbook that pleaded guilty to a US racketeering conspiracy charge, may be able to pay off some creditors after a court in Antigua and Barbuda unfroze the company's assets in that country this week.

    The court lifted an order barring the removal of any Betonsports' funds from the Caribbean nation, according to court papers filed in St Louis federal court in the United States. The London-based company pleaded guilty May 24 and agreed to furnish evidence against its founder, Gary Kaplan, and 11 co-defendants.

    Betonsports took in wagers in 2004 totaling $1.25 billion, 98 percent of which were allegedly sports bets placed by US gamblers using Betonsports' websites and US phone lines, prosecutors claimed. The company agreed to repay money owed to bettors as part of its plea agreement.

    "The Antiguan court order creates the possibility that funds may be collected from the debtors of Betonsports which then could be used to repay some or all of the United States customers at least a portion of their claims," Betonsports attorney Jeffrey Demerath said in court papers.

    Sentencing of the company was postponed to June 23 after Demerath petitioned for a delay. He argued for the continuance because it will take months to contact the creditors and verify their claims, he said. The Antiguan court ruling was included in an October 5 US court filing.

    US District Judge Carol Jackson on Wednesday ordered Betonsports to file court reports on the status of the collection process starting December 20 and continuing every 60 days.
  2. Oct 23, 2007
  3. jetset

    jetset RIP Brian CAG

    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Kaplan raises bail appeal


    BetonSports founder takes his case further up the US judicial system

    Gary Kaplan, the erstwhile founder of the now largely moribund BetonSports.com empire (see previous InfoPowa reports) has apparently decided to contest two court decisions that have ordered his continued detention without bail whilst awaiting trial on a raft of charges associated with allegedly illegal online sportsbetting and racketeering.

    Kaplan was declared a fugitive by US authorities and was subsequently arrested in Dominica and extradited to US territory to face the charges arising from his involvement in the Costa Rican based sportsbetting group BetonSports. Since his arrest, Kaplan has twice unsuccessfully attempted to secure bail, claiming ill health and offering to pay for his own guards.

    The gambling executive has now filed papers to plead his case before the US Court of Appeals.

    The US Department of Justice action against BetonSports which eventually resulted in the company's demise was triggered when David Carruthers, the former CEO of BetonSports was arrested at a US airport whilst transitting to Costa Rica from the UK. Carruthers remains under house arrest in St. Louis still untried after almost 18 months.
  4. Dec 8, 2007
  5. jetset

    jetset RIP Brian CAG

    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service


    It's looking increasingly unlikely that owed employees outside Antigua will be paid

    Formerly Costa Rican based employees of the now defunct online gambling group BetonSports, which fell victim to the US Department of Justice last year (see previous InfoPowa reports) received discouraging news regarding their severance pay this week - and it must be hoped that players are not in for similar disappointment.

    When BetonSports was bundled out of its primarily American business by the US authorities on allegations of illegal gambling, the return of monies to US players was an important requirement, but it appears likely that there will be problems in accomplishing this.

    The Antiguan government, which had a licensing interest in the debacle, took control of Antiguan-connected elements in the sad affair through the offshore gaming division of the Financial Services Regulatory Commission.

    But this week, former BetonSports staffers who were based in Costa Rica were turned away when clarity was requested on payment of their severance packages. And Costa Rican labour officialdom may be a bad bet, too as BetonSports has effectively ceased to exist and apparently has very limited assets.

    The Costa Rican enquirers at the Antiguan FSRC were referred to a UK-based receivership company called Vantis, with the explanation that this company had been appointed as receivers to liquidate the assets of BetonSports plc and BoS (Antigua) Ltd.

    But when Vantis was contacted, although the organisation confirmed that it has been appointed as Receivers-Managers in the (Antiguan) elements of the BoS matter, it had bad news to impart:

    "I refer to your recent enquiry to the Director of Offshore Gaming and write to advise that on 20th September 2007 Nigel Hamilton-Smith and Peter Wastell of Vantis were appointed Receiver-Managers of BoS (Antigua) Limited, a subsidiary of BETonSPORTS PLC which is also in Liquidation under our stewardship.

    "BoS (Antigua) Limited is a company registered in Antigua and Barbuda, and was the operating company within the BETonSPORTS group responsible for the individual gaming contracts and betting transactions with the players/customers primarily in the United States of America.

    "The appointment as Receiver-Managers was made by the Financial Services Regulatory Commission of Antigua and Barbuda ("FSRC"), under the International Business Corporations Act in that jurisdiction.

    "As Receiver-Managers under Antiguan law, our duties are primarily to collect in the various assets of the company, and distribute those funds to the creditors of the company.

    "We are advised that your contract of employment would have been with BoS Costa Rica Limited and we have not been appointed to deal with affairs of that company.

    "Accordingly we cannot assist you any further in this matter."

    Delving a little deeper into the recent BoS developments, it appears that the Antiguans did announce the appointment of Vantis Business Recovery Services. The FSRC Gaming Division website carries a statement released on October 18 which informed that the appointment of Vantis was agreed on September 20 this year. Hamilton-Smith and Wastell are partners in the firm, who were also appointed to act as Liquidators of BETonSPORTS PLC, the parent company in the United Kingdom, on 16 May 2007, and Liquidators of three other subsidiary companies in the group on 15 August 2007.

    The statement emphasises that BoS (Antigua) Limited has been under the complete control of the FSRC since November 2006, pursuant to an order of the Antiguan High Court which remains in effect.

    Vantis is an AIM listed accounting, business and tax advisory group.

    InfoPowa has requested a comment from the Antiguan government on the timescale for payment of owed US players and the remedies of unpaid employees outside the ambit of the FSRC. When we went to press no response had been received.

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