Sportingbet Chairman Resigns

Yesterday shares in online gambling companies bounced back after pervious losses after Peter Dicks resigned as chairman of Sportingbet and Louisiana’s bid to extradite him on legal gambling charges received a setback in New York.

Mr Dicks, who was arrested at New York’s JFK International airport last week, was yesterday allowed to return to the UK after previously being told he could not leave New York State. The governor of New York, George Pataki withdrew the warrant for Dicks' detention.

Previously Dicks was ordered to return to New York for another hearing on September 28th. However, his lawyers said that the case would not go any further unless Louisiana State issued a fresh extradition order. There are a number of states in the US, including Louisiana that has laws prohibiting online gambling. Barry Slotnick, a lawyer for Mr Dicks commented, “I believe this case should and will end here. It is very unusual for a governor to overturn a warrant so it appears he listened to out argument that Mr Dicks has not committed any crime in Louisiana.”

Dicks’ detention begun just two months after David Carruthers, the then chief executive of UK listed online bookmaker BetonSports was held on corruption charges by US federal authorities.

There are no connections between the cases according to officials in Louisiana. However, the arrests raised alarm among investors about the threat posed to online gambling companies by US anti-gambling laws.

Sportingbet said that Mr Dicks was leaving his position to concentrate on “personal matters” and that they had accepted Dicks’ resignation with “great reluctance”.

Sportingbet are due to appoint a non-executive chairman will be appointed shortly. A spokeswoman for New York State said that Mr Pataki had withdrawn the arrest warrant on Dicks after a review of legal arguments made by his lawyers.

Editor, - 2006-09-15 16:39:14

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