1. #1
    bigboydan
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    Sportingbet staff detained in Turkey as crackdown continues

    Sportingbet staff detained in Turkey as crackdown continues

    Online gambling firm scales-back reliance on Turkish operations
    By Simon Kennedy, MarketWatch
    Last Update: 9:54 AM ET May 29, 2008

    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.K. online gambling group Sportingbet said Thursday that two of its employees and a number of other people linked to its business have been detained in Turkey, nearly two years after its then-chairman was arrested in the U.S.

    The company said it hasn't been told what's going on by Turkish authorities, but noted those held include two of its U.K.-based staff, who are Turkish nationals and were in the country on holiday.

    In addition, Turkish authorities have detained a number of people linked to Maslin Properties, Sportingbet's former marketing partner in the region.

    Shares in the group dropped 5.8% to 36 pence in afternoon London trading, extending the stock's losses to more than 30% for the year. The stock was trading at around 450 pence a share two years ago, before a crackdown in the U.S. forced the firm to stop taking bets there, sending its shares tumbling. See archived story.

    Sportingbet, which offers sports and casino betting as well as an online poker room, said Thursday that it has been gradually reducing its reliance on the Turkish market in the last few months "in order to build a more balanced geographic risk profile for the business."

    The company said its Superbahis unit in Turkey generated 14% of the group's net gaming revenue in the third quarter ended April 30, compared to 26% in the fiscal second quarter.

    Sportingbet added it is continuing to operate in Turkey and remains confident of meeting market expectations for the fourth quarter and year ending July 31.

    Turkey has become an increasingly difficult place for online gambling firms to do business since the country introduced tougher restrictions on both domestic and foreign gambling companies early last year. Those changes have already led Neteller , an online payments systems popular with gambling site customers, to halt transactions with gambling sites in Turkey.

    International crackdown

    The biggest crackdown on online gambling has come in the U.S.

    Sportingbet's then Chairman, Peter Dicks, was arrested at John F. Kennedy Airport in September 2006, two months after the detention of David Carruthers, CEO of BetOnSports. See archived story.

    Dicks was later released, but the arrests were swiftly followed by the surprise passing of new anti-gambling legislation, which pushed Sportingbet and rivals including PartyGaming and 888 Holdings out of the region.

    Since the U.S. legislation was introduced there have been fears about crackdowns in other countries, including France, where authorities interviewed the former CEO of 888 Holdings, John Anderson, in February last year. That came five months after French police arrested the two founders of Austrian gambling group Bwin over its sponsorship deal with Monaco's soccer club.

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  2. #2
    DrunkenLullaby
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  3. #3
    RickySteve
    SBR is a criminal organization
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    Warms my heart.

  4. #4
    dekadent30
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    500 % a day, wow, i dream about it
    Last edited by Willie Bee; 08-17-08 at 11:02 AM. Reason: remove hyperlink

  5. #5
    bigboydan
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    Here is an update on this story gentlemen:
    Sportingbet says Turkey police release 2nd employee pending trial

    LONDON (Thomson Financial) - Sportingbet Plc. said the Turkish police have now released the second of the two employees detained whilst visiting the country earlier this year on suspicion of being linked to online gambling in Turkey.

    One employee was released without charges on July 28 and the other has been released, pending a trial, set for Jan. 26, 2009

    Charges have yet to be formalised, the company said. TFN.newsdesk@thomson.com ssa/slm

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  6. #6
    fiveteamer
    Sweet berry wine!!!
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    Peter Dicks

    LOL

  7. #7
    Willie Bee
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    Hard to think of three words you DON'T want to hear that rank worse than "detained in Turkey."

  8. #8
    Mudcat
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    I don't know why you say that. It all seemed pretty warm and fuzzy in Midnight Express.

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  9. #9
    JoshW
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    Seems strange to go after UK employees back from vacation.

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  10. #10
    vanman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willie Bee View Post
    Hard to think of three words you DON'T want to hear that rank worse than "detained in Turkey."
    "Detained in Iran"

    At least a lot of people holiday in Turkey so it can`t be so bad.

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