Article published on 5 April 2012

Sportingbet Completes Southern District Financial Transaction

Sportingbet Free From Justice Department Prosecution
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The leading online sports book Sportingbet has announced the payment of the third and final instalment of $6 million to the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY).

With this Sportingbet payment to SDNY, the transaction that was initiated a few years back has now been finalised. In addition to sports betting, Sportingbet also offers online casino and online poker.

In 2010 SDNY, acting under instructions from the US Department of Justice had charged Sportingbet for offering illegal online gambling services in the country from 1998 to 2006.

 In 2006 Sportingbet had withdrawn from the United States online gambling market just hours before the then president George Bush signed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

The online sports book had reported that this move set it back by £210 million. On September 21, 2010, Sportingbet reached a settlement with SDNY.

Under this settlement, which has been termed as the Non-Prosecution Agreement, Sportingbet was to pay SDNY a sum of $33 million on a deferred basis. In turn the US Department of Justice would not prosecute the online sports book and its units for any crimes, apart from tax violations.

Andrew McIver, Chief Executive Officer for Sportingbet, released a statement that said, "This final payment formally closes any risk which the company may have faced from its former activities in the United States."

McIver pointed out that with the settlement completely out of the way, Sportingbet was now free to explore avenues for re-entering the United States online gambling market, particularly in view of the moves for legalization of this activity. There were several opportunities that were being considered according to McIver, though he did not spell out the details.

The shares of the company responded favourably on the London Stock Exchange to this announcement. They went up by 39.5 pence, which is about 1%.

Sportingbet Global Operations

Today, Sportingbet services over two million online customers in 30 markets that span Europe, Australia, Canada, South America and South Africa. It is licensed and regulated in each and every jurisdiction in which it operates. The top online sportsbook processes over 8,000 bets every day.

In 2011 the amount wagered on Sportingbet was about £2,054 million, while its total revenues came to £206 million.

Sportingbet was established in 1998 by Mark Blanford. Sportingbet plc got listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2001, and in May 2010, the company was advanced from AIM to the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. This move raised the company's profile among its investors and improved liquidity in its shares.

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