15 October 2006


    Oct. 13, 2006. 01:00 AM

    LONDON—A looming U.S. ban on Internet gambling is already scaring off London-listed operators, but the industry will continue to thrive in the hands of private operators in locations like Costa Rica, Antigua and Curacao.

    The fear of extradition to the United States has forced executives in the United Kingdom to turn away from their most lucrative market, some selling their U.S. operations to counterparts in and around the Caribbean which have less amenable extradition treaties with the United States.

    Sportingbet CEO Nigel Payne this week reassured Antiguans the company would not downsize its operations there and is in talks to sell its U.S.-focused business to a private firm.

    Leisure & Gaming’s U.S operations VIP and Nine.com are also likely to end up in private hands, with sale talks underway.

    Analyst Tejinder Randhawa at Evolution Securities said the industry was splitting into two camps: the European-listed companies and those elsewhere looking to exploit the U.S. ban.

    “The market will not go cold-dead overnight,” he said. “There are huge opportunities, and all the private offshore operators are licking their lips.”

    U.S. Congress passed a bill to outlaw online gambling this month, with President George W. Bush expected to sign it into law today. Many U.K. companies immediately announced plans to pull out, wiping $7 billion (U.S.) off their shares.

    “U.S. gambling is untenable for London-listed companies, but these U.S. operations are all viable and profitable businesses that have a future,” said a source close to Leisure & Gaming.

    The U.S. ban will also make it illegal for banks and credit-card companies to process payments to online gaming companies. “But no doubt there will be operators that spring up to handle the payments,” said Randhawa.

    About 170 websites have declared their intention to stop accepting U.S. players, the vast majority since Congress passed the act, according to gaming website Casino City, which expects 10 per cent to 15 per cent of the world’s 2,700 or so gaming websites to eventually block U.S. customers.


    Related News

    • 23 August 2019

      Apple Targets iGaming Industry Again with New Policy Setting Minimum Social Casino Age to 17

      Technology titan, Apple, has put the iGaming industry in its crosshairs again with a recent announcement that will have a big effect on a rapidly-growing sector of the industry. This time the tech firm is gunning for social casino apps which have become very popular in the last few years and are currently not specifically regulated by most jurisdictions. Social casinos are casinos where players do not place bets using real money.

      Read full article
    • 06 March 2018

      MaChance and Vegas Plus New Casino Brands

      Something really fun about the online casino world is that there are always new brands coming out to provide more competition and to give players new things to check out. The two newest brands to announce their launch come in the form of Vegas Plus Casino and MaChance Casino. Each of these caters to a different crowd, but they both offer good experiences to those who are looking for something new to try. What These Brands Offer First up, we have Vegas Plus Casino.

      Read full article
    • 02 January 2018

      Celebrate The Year of the Dog With New Fu Chi Slot Coming Jan 17

      Realtime Gaming is set to release a new Asian-themed slot on January 17th under the title Fu Chi. The 3 position, 5 reel game with 50 pay lines has rich graphics and a pleasing soundtrack. The new game celebrates the Chinese Year of the Dog which begins on 16 February 2018 and ends on 4 February 2019. The Zodiacal year follows the Year of the Rooster, which was celebrated by RTG's release of Kung Fu Rooster several months ago.

      Read full article