PLAYING POKER WITH THE US SENATE

18 July 2006

Newspaper

MSNBC
Financial Times

by Roger Blitz
Updated: 12:12 a.m. ET July 18, 2006

David Carruthers, the internet gambling executive detained by US authorities, had discussed with his chairman the prospect of such an occurrence if he visited the US.

The BetonSports chief executive and other executives in the industry have spent plenty of time in the US talking to politicians, appearing in the media, arguing their case for a properly regulated industry which would also provide a healthy tax take for the US Treasury.

But by common consent, Mr Carruthers has been the most vocal critic of the Goodlatte/Leach anti-gaming bill now making its way through the US Senate.

As Federal officials continued to talk to Mr Carruthers on Monday night, analysts were coming round to the view that his detention was a politically motivated act, aimed at putting the skids under the most vocal proponent in the US of the online gambling industry.

Asked if Mr Carruthers had raised issues about visiting the US, Clive Parritt, BetonSports chairman, said: “Had we conjectured that there would be difficulties, of course. Had we made a plan – not really.”

Mr Parritt said the company had not anticipated the chief executive’s detention. “He has been quite high profile and been in and out of the US quite a number of times in years and was promoting legalised gambling.”

READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE BY ROGER BLITZ AT MSNBC Copyright The Financial Times Ltd. All rights reserved.