Sportingbet chairman arrested

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
Just up at the Sportingbet PLC home site:

Sportingbet Plc

Statement regarding Chairman

Whilst visiting the US on non-Sportingbet business, Mr Peter Dicks, aged 64, Non-Executive Chairman of Sportingbet Plc, was detained by US Authorities at approximately 2.00am BST on Thursday, 6 September 2006.

A hearing for Mr Dicks is scheduled for 2.00pm BST.

Pending clarification of the situation the Board has sought immediate temporary suspension of Sportingbets shares.

Further information will be issued in due course.
 

Lord_Have_Mercy

Non-Gambler
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Parts, Unknown
Full Story...This seems like the same thing they was doing. When the government decided to raid individuals and schools for downloading music. And then the Supreme Court deemed music sharing as Illegal. I honestly think the Senate will ban online gaming. Other states are already doing it, WELCOME BACK B&M Casinos.



LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. authorities detained a second Internet gaming executive on Thursday, adding to fears it is cracking down on the lucrative industry and sparking share price falls that wiped over $1.5 billion off its market value.

Online bookmaker Sportingbet Plc said its chairman, Peter Dicks, had been detained by U.S. authorities -- a move that mirrored the detention in July of another online gaming CEO on racketeering charges.

Shares reacted instantly across the $12 billion-a-year industry, with industry leader PartyGaming plunging as much as 19 percent, 888 Holdings Plc down as much as 18 percent and Playtech down as much as 17 percent.



Shares in Austria's bwin.com Interactive Entertainment also slumped.

"This arrest highlights the U.S. Department of Justice is going after online gaming companies by arresting their board members," said a London analyst who declined to be named.

Sportingbet said it had sought immediate temporary suspension of its shares pending clarification of the situation. Dicks was arrested at 0100 GMT on Thursday and his hearing is scheduled for 1300 GMT, it added without giving a location.

Analysts said Sportingbet's U.S.-focused sports betting business was similar to that of BETonSPORTS , whose CEO David Carruthers was arrested in Texas in July.

Carruthers and seven others pleaded not guilty to racketeering and other charges. The Costa Rica-based company has since said it is closing its U.S. business.

"Clearly the first indictment against BETonSPORTS was not a company-specific issue," said the London analyst.

News of Dicks's detention overshadowed strong results from PartyGaming, which said core profit rose 47 percent in the first six months of the year and stressed it was reducing its dependence on the U.S. market.

PartyGaming said it whittled down the percentage of revenues it takes from the United States to 77 percent in the first half, from 86 percent a year earlier.

PartyGaming has been trying to reduce its U.S. exposure for over a year, partly as a response to attempts by some U.S. politicians to get Internet gaming banned.

PartyGaming Chief Executive Mitch Garber told a conference call on Thursday the anti-gambling bill, backed by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, faced opposition in the Senate and time was running short ahead of U.S. elections.

"Time is in short supply and the bill continues to face opposition, but this is politics and we are not complacent, and the outcome remains uncertain," he said.

(Additional reporting by Jonathan Cable)
 

Casinomeister

Forum Cheermeister
Staff member
Joined
Jun 30, 1998
Location
Bierland
Online bets firm boss held in U.S.

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Online bookmaker Sportingbet Plc said on Thursday its chairman, Peter Dicks, had been detained by U.S. authorities, causing shares across the sector to dive as investors feared a crackdown on online gaming.

Analysts said the detention mirrored the detention in July of the CEO of another company that took online sports bets from the United States, Costa Rica-based BETonSPORTS.

BETonSPORTS former Chief Executive David Carruthers and seven others pleaded not guilty to racketeering and other charges. The company has since said it is closing its U.S. business.

Sportingbet said it had sought immediate temporary suspension of its shares pending clarification of the situation. Shares in the company were down 1.8 percent at 238-1/2 pence at the time of the suspension.

The news hit other shares across the sector, with PartyGaming down 10.5 percent, 888 plc down 15.2 percent and Playtech down 11.65 percent.

Sportingbet said earlier on Thursday it was in preliminary talks about making a possible all share offer for World Gaming Plc.

The two groups said that based on Sportingbet's closing price of 244 pence on Wednesday, the offer would value each World Gaming share at an implied price of 104 pence, valuing World Gaming at 107 million pounds.

"We have a long history with World Gaming," Sportingbet Finance Director Andy McIver told Reuters prior to the announcement that the group's chairman had been detained. "The servers that take our bets sit in a bunker in Antigua that is owned and maintained by World Gaming."

"This is about tidying up that relationship and taking control of key suppliers," he added.

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pokeraddict

Webmaster
Joined
Aug 3, 2002
Location
Las Vegas
Wow! :eek:

Do Sporting Bet accept sports wagers from US based individuals?

Yes and they own Paradise Poker which has put the poker community on edge as they are one of the bigger online poker rooms.

What a mess. Our government is so lost on this issue. Actions that have no victim (or at least losers know the risk) that are done in someone's home should not be a crime. This is scary.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
More details emerging

More details on the arrest of the Sportingbet chairman are starting to emerge:

QUOTE: Peter Dicks was arrested at Kennedy International Airport following his arrival on a flight from Britain, Kevin Ryan, a spokesman for the district attorney in the borough of Queens, said Thursday.

Customs, performing a routine name check around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, discovered he had an outstanding warrant issued by the Louisiana State Police Gaming Enforcement Division.

Police officers with the Port Authority, which runs the airport, took Dicks into custody, where he remained Thursday awaiting arraignment in a state court.

Ryan said the July 12 warrant charged Dicks, who lives in London, with gambling by computer, which is punishable by up to a year in prison.

A message left with Senior Trooper Dwight Robinette Jr., spokesman for the Louisiana State Police, was not immediately returned.

Shares in the company were suspended by the London Stock Exchange at Sportingbet’s request.

Dicks, 64, is the second executive of a British Internet sports-betting company to be held in the U.S.

David Carruthers, former chief executive officer of BetOnSports PLC, was arrested in July. The company fired Carruthers, who remains under house arrest in the St. Louis area awaiting trial, and closed its U.S. Web sites.

The founder of Abingdon PLC, a private equity firm, Dicks is also a director at Nasdaq-listed Polar Technology Trust PLC and Standard Microsystems Corp., and has been non-executive director at Sportingbet since 2000.UNQUOTE
 

tennis_balls

Dormant account
Joined
Mar 18, 2006
Location
Albuquerque, NM
i understand the feds have a 50 man team stationed in Vegas waiting for the meister to land...

i didn't realize that sportingbet is the giant that owns sportsbook.com. that's huge.

it now appears clear that Washington has implemented a war on sportsbook execs. this should be about as successful as their war on drugs.
 
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winbig

Keep winning this amount.
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Location
Pennsylvania
Ryan said the July 12 warrant charged Dicks, who lives in London, with gambling by computer, which is punishable by up to a year in prison.

:what:

So now they're charging execs of gambling operations because someone in their state decided to gamble there? Is that backwards, or is it just me?
 

AussieDave

Banned User
Joined
Dec 24, 2005
Location
Australia
Why TF they (the USA gov) doesn't put this type of money into fighting the real issues in their back yard, makes this an even bigger farse.

With each new headline I start to believe the truth really is all about lost revenue (taxes) and has zip to do with morality and whatever reason the DOJ is pulling out of its backside this week.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
Peter Dicks remains in detention following a hearing in a Queens court yesterday where the magistrate was unable to grant bail "to a fugitive"

Jesus H Chrikey, the fellow didn't even know he was the subject of a stealth ("sealed") warrant of arrest from some small parish in Louisiana!

The US authorities had not contacted Dicks or Sportingbet at any stage regarding these "gambling by computer" charges from state as opposed to federal authorities.

As his lawyer pointed out, this is not some mobster, but a respectable, British businessman lawfully about his (non-Sportingbet) business. That said, I think he was taking an unnecessary risk going to the US after the Carruthers affair.

Further hearing set for September 14 to decide whether Dicks can be extradited to Louisiana...and he is fighting that.

Today (Friday) his lawyer is taking the question of bail up again, this time in a higher New York court.
 

paul02085

Dormant account
Joined
Jan 29, 2002
Location
USA
I wonder if Sportingbet will discontinue doing business with US players? I am not a sportbettor but i am curious if Paradise Poker will quit allowing US players. That would be a major deal:eek:
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
If they do it will hammer the hell out of their business - something like 70 percent of group revenues come from US players, I believe.
 

thelawnet

Dormant account
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Location
UK
Peter Dicks remains in detention following a hearing in a Queens court yesterday where the magistrate was unable to grant bail "to a fugitive"

Jesus H Chrikey, the fellow didn't even know he was the subject of a stealth ("sealed") warrant of arrest from some small parish in Louisiana!

The US authorities had not contacted Dicks or Sportingbet at any stage regarding these "gambling by computer" charges from state as opposed to federal authorities.

As his lawyer pointed out, this is not some mobster, but a respectable, British businessman lawfully about his (non-Sportingbet) business. That said, I think he was taking an unnecessary risk going to the US after the Carruthers affair.

Further hearing set for September 14 to decide whether Dicks can be extradited to Louisiana...and he is fighting that.

Today (Friday) his lawyer is taking the question of bail up again, this time in a higher New York court.


The problem is after the previous arrest, they were asked if they accepted bets by telephone, and they said that 99% of their bets were taken online, but they had a service for people who were having trouble doing that to bet by phone.

THis statement basically screwed them. A very expensive 1%.

This is not an attack on casinos or poker rooms (yet), but on companies offering sports betting by telephone, which is unequivocally illegal in the US.

It is not about internet gambling as yet.
 

sdaddy

Meister Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Location
Arizona
I wonder if Sportingbet will discontinue doing business with US players? I am not a sportbettor but i am curious if Paradise Poker will quit allowing US players. That would be a major deal:eek:
Also, don't forget Super Vegas Casino, a major Boss Media licensee.

This witchunt against internet gambling execs is really getting out of hand. In effect there's now a travel ban against them coming to the US. Sad.
 

sdaddy

Meister Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Location
Arizona
The problem is after the previous arrest, they were asked if they accepted bets by telephone, and they said that 99% of their bets were taken online, but they had a service for people who were having trouble doing that to bet by phone.

THis statement basically screwed them. A very expensive 1%.

This is not an attack on casinos or poker rooms (yet), but on companies offering sports betting by telephone, which is unequivocally illegal in the US.

It is not about internet gambling as yet.
But Dicks is facing "gambling by computer" state charges. That sounds like it covers more than just taking sports wagers over the phone.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
The problem is after the previous arrest, they were asked if they accepted bets by telephone, and they said that 99% of their bets were taken online, but they had a service for people who were having trouble doing that to bet by phone.

THis statement basically screwed them. A very expensive 1%.

This is not an attack on casinos or poker rooms (yet), but on companies offering sports betting by telephone, which is unequivocally illegal in the US.

It is not about internet gambling as yet.

But Dicks is facing "gambling by computer" state charges. That sounds like it covers more than just taking sports wagers over the phone.

I think on the face of the available information I would have to agree with thelawnet that this still does not look like a generalised attack on online gambling, although it is tempting to believe that it might be a DoJ orchestrated multi-pronged approach.

What is intriguing, and maybe a little worrying, is the fact that an individual state has applied its laws in an international approach, which complicates an already confusing legal scene in the U.S. Many will therefore be following this case closely.

These guys had better have a strong case for throwing a respectable businessman in chooky - he has the means and probably the determiniatioon to litigate against the state itself for depriving him of his freedom and dignity in this manner.

Has anyone heard how the bail hearing went yesterday? Was Dicks allowed bail?
 
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