By Tony Dennis: Wednesday 26 July 2006, 10:23
LEADING UK online betting site, Betonsports has fired its CEO. Mainly because he is under arrest in Fort Worth,Texas. Amongst the charges against David Carruthers are racketeering and charges of illegally taking online sports bets.
The company is insistent that besides Carruthers and founder, Gary Kaplan, none of the other directors are named in the charges.
The company chairman, Clive Parritt, has flown to Betonsports’ headquarters in Costa Rica to take command.
The whole area of Internet gambling in the USA is extremely clouded. Antigua, for example, has taken the USA to the World Trade Organisation because it says that US actions against overseas betting firms are illicit.
While Betonsports says Kaplan has not been involved in the group’s day-to-day management for a while, Kaplan turns out to be a very colourful character indeed.
A former New York bookmaker, Kaplan is reported to surround himself with seven bodyguards and carry a gun at all times.
When Kaplan visited London to help float the company, he approached a well-known frim of consultants. As Kaplan bore a remarkable visual resemblance to Joe Pesci’s character in the gangster film GoodFellas, the consultants declined his offer to work with Betonsports.
Kaplan is thought to be sheltering somewhere in Latin America. The scandal may also spread to another site – Igotsportsbook.com – which was reputedly founded by Gary Kaplan after he sold his shares in Betonsports.
The INQ isn’t without its own brush with the US authorities over betting. Our man was once pounced upon by an armed security guard for using a mobile phone in a Las Vegas sports bar.