BetOnSports folds to US

13 August 2006

INB – Internet News Bureau
August 11, 2006
BetonSports Folds U.S. Hand
By Roy Mark

Betonsports.com is folding its U.S. hand.

With the British-based company named in a 22-count indictment for violating American gambling laws and its former CEO sitting in a St. Louis jail, BetonSports said Friday it was permanently cutting off access to its site for U.S. bettors.

The site has been dark for American online gamblers since last month when a U.S. court issued a temporary restraining order against BetonSports.

The London Stock Exchange suspended trading in the company’s shares on July 17, shortly after a U.S. court unsealed the indictments against BetonSports and 11 current and former officials of the business.

In a statement issued to the London Stock Exchange, BetonSports said it hoped to refund balances to U.S. gamblers and to pay some salaries of employees in Costa Rica and Antigua, where the company’s offshore operations are located.

Those payments, however, “will depend upon the company’s ability to persuade banks and cash processors to release its funds.”

BetonSports’ problems began with the arrest of David Carruthers, the then CEO of the company, who was changing planes in Fort Worth, Texas, en route from London to Costa Rica.

A week later, Betonsports fired Carruthers because of his continued detention by U.S. authorities. Carruthers remains in jail while his lawyers negotiate bail terms.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) contends BetonSports violated U.S. law by taking sporting bets over the telephone and the Internet from U.S. citizens.

“Illegal commercial gambling across state and international borders is a crime,” U.S. Attorney Catherine L. Hanaway of the Eastern District of Missouri said in a statement released with the July indictments.

“This indictment is but one step in a series of actions designed to punish and seize the profits of individuals who disregard federal and state laws.”

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