• GAMING BOSS QUITS BEFORE COURT APPEARANCE

    15 September 2006

    Newspaper

    GUARDIAN UNLIMITED

    Andrew Clark in New York
    Friday September 15, 2006
    The Guardian

    The chairman of the gaming firm Sportingbet has severed ties with the company in order to pursue his fight against criminal charges of encouraging illegal online betting in America.

    Peter Dicks informed Sportingbet of his resignation just minutes before a court appearance in New York yesterday at which a judge gave him permission to return temporarily to Britain. In a statement, Sportingbet said that with “great reluctance” it had accepted his decision to quit, adding: “Mr Dicks indicated that he wishes to concentrate on personal matters.”

    Law enforcement officers arrested Mr Dicks when he arrived at New York’s Kennedy airport last week, citing a warrant issued in Louisiana for breaking state gaming laws.

    But New York’s governor, George Pataki, has withdrawn permission for his extradition to the southern state pending “further investigations”, prompting speculation that authorities were yet to be convinced that there is compelling evidence against Mr Dicks. A further hearing has been set for September 28.

    Mr Dicks’ court appearance in a down-at-heel outer suburb of Queens attracted a large pack of photographers who pursued him down the street.

    Dressed in grey trousers, a turquoise tie and a smart blue blazer with a carefully folded handkerchief poking out of its breastpocket, the 64-year-old’s appearance was in stark contrast to the street-wise attire of other defendants in court facing assault and drugs charges.

    Mr Dicks’ lawyer, Barry Slotnick, told the judge: “Mr Dicks is a foreign national, a respected businessman from the UK.

    “Over the next two weeks, he would like the ability to travel home and see his family.”

    Mr Dicks is the second prominent British online gambling boss to fall foul of the American authorities this summer. David Carruthers, the former chief executive of Betonsports, is under house arrest in St Louis, Missouri, awaiting trial on more serious charges of breaking federal racketeering laws. Some industry watchers have pointed out that the crackdown has coincided with the passage of controversial new anti-gambling legislation through Congress.

    Founded in 1998, Sportingbet describes itself as the world’s leading online gambling company. It took 48 million bets last year, generating £1.5bn, and has 2.7 million registered customers. At its peak earlier this year, the company had a market value of more than £2bn. Its shares, which have halved since May, jumped 39p to 192p yesterday with the news that the US prosecution was running out of steam.

    Other British gambling executives are avoiding travel to America. Louisiana’s state police say they have other warrants outstanding in connection with Mr Dicks’ case, although they have declined to disclose the names of the wanted people.

    Meanwhile, Jeremy Crook, who is accused of defrauding shareholders at his former company Peregrine Systems, became the latest British businessman to be extradited to the US under a controversial treaty intended to speed up the prosecution of suspected terrorists. He is due in court today.

    THIS ARTICLE CAN BE READ AT THE GUARDIAN

    Related News

    • Nolimit city and bet365 team up for exciting content launch

      Gambling News

      Nolimit City and bet365 Team Up for Exciting Content LaunchIvan Stefanovic04 August 2022

      Provider of online casino games, Nolimit City, has announced a new commercial tie-up with sportsbook juggernaut bet365. This integration will see the provider's entire online casino suite, which includes well-known titles such as Folsom Prison and Remember Gulag, made available to the operator’s wide user base. Nolimit is based in Sliema, Malta, and boasts a library of over 50 games that feature several proprietary mechanics such as xNudge, xWays, xSplit, xPays, and xBomb.

      Read full article
    • Volatile vikings 2 dream drop is live now

      New Online Slots

      Volatile Vikings 2 Dream Drop Is Live NowIvan Stefanovic22 July 2022

      Relax Gaming, the iGaming aggregator and supplier of unique content, announced the release of its latest jackpot slot game, Volatile Vikings 2 Dream Drop. The new game is a sequel to the original Volatile Vikings and features similar gameplay with one major difference - a new math model. After the release of the Jurassic Party, it's time to saddle up and take on some Vikings! Grab your sharpest ax and prepare to take to the seas in search of big wins!

      Read full article
    • Exclusive content deal brings exciting games to 888 casino players %281%29

      Gambling News

      Exclusive Content Deal Brings Exciting Games To 888 Casino PlayersIvan Stefanovic15 July 2022

      888casino has agreed to a new content agreement with Gaming Works that will allow the firm to release one of its iGaming titles with one of the top UK operators. Design Works Gaming's contribution to the partnership should result in 888casino adding more content with unique products that have been developed in-house, as well as bringing new gameplay features.

      Read full article