UK Internet gambling company Sportingbet Plc agreed today to forfeit $33 million that it provided to US customers in a deal that they hope will allow the company to resume U.S. online gambling operations sometime in the future if the laws are changed.
According to a statement made by Sportingbet as part of this agreement with New York, the company offered online gambling to U.S. residents from 1996 to Oct. 2006. The company also admitted as early as 2001, they used payment processors to help disguise customers transactions from U.S. credit card issuers.
Barry Slotnick, a lawyer for Sportingbet has said,
“We spent three years coming to this ultimate conclusion. We do appreciate the fact that the Southern District of New York was concerned about a public company called Sportingbet and its shareholders.”
In a release from the United States Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York,
As part of the non-prosecution agreement, Sportingbet agreed to continue to cooperate with this Office’s ongoing investigation by, among other things, providing the Government with requested documents, and making employees available for interviews with Government investigators.
In the agreement, Sportingbet agreed to forfeit a total of $33 million, representing proceeds from the Internet gambling services that Sportingbet provided to U.S. customers. Sportingbet also agreed to maintain a permanent restriction on providing Internet gambling services to U.S. customers, in the absence of a change in U.S. law.
Also in the statement Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, gave 4 reasons why they decided to enter this non-prosecution agreement:
- Sportingbet’s cooperation with the Government’s ongoing investigation into the illegal online gambling industry;
- Sportingbet’s termination of all real-money Internet gambling services for U.S. customers in October 2006;
- Its agreement to disgorge $33 million;
- The negative effect that charges against Sportingbet would have on the company’s innocent employees and legitimate activities.
You can read the whole statement release here.