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BetOnSports Locks Out US Bettors

11 August 2006

UNITED STATES – As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "BetOnSports, the online gambling company targeted by federal prosecutors in Missouri and Washington, is shuttering the majority of its billion-dollar operations and will no longer accept bets from the United States, a company spokesman said Thursday evening.

"The move was seen as a significant victory for prosecutors targeting online gambling and as somewhat of a surprise. Industry experts and even a company insider had predicted that BetOn Sports would simply ignore the federal criminal prosecution and civil efforts to shut the company's U.S. operations down.

"BetOnSports is one of the largest online gambling companies in the world, analysts say, in an industry worth an estimated $9 billion to $12 billion. After civil and criminal charges were announced last month, U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway said it was the largest prosecution of an online gambling company.

"…Kevin Smith, a company spokesman, said 80 percent of the company's business came from U.S. customers, with the rest from Asian markets.

"Smith said employees were told at 1:30 p.m. St. Louis time that the company's offices in Costa Rica and Antigua were being closed. The formal announcement was set for 7 a.m. London time today.

"The decision will affect about 800 employees, at least 90 percent of whom worked in Costa Rica, he said…"

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