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UK company gambles on US success

Tax-free betting to reap big rewards

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A British company is planning to launch a tax-free online gambling service that will tap into the heavily regulated betting industry in the US. Sportingbet.com -- the trading name of NetBet -- is planing to launch the service in the US in March. The site is currently undergoing beta testing. A similar service for the UK has been up and running since October. Since then, the company has registered more than 800 punters who, between them, are spending £40,000 a week on trying to beat the odds. But according to MD Mark Blandford, this is just chicken feed compared to the turnover the site could be generating in a couple of years. "The online market is huge and more and more people are using the Net for everyday transactions such as betting. "Based on similar betting services in the Caribbean, we anticipate that we'll be turning over £40 million in two years -- and £80 million in three years time," he said. Sportingbet.com is the first British online tax-free betting service. Operating out of Alderney in the Channel Islands, the company has received one of three electronic licences which allows it to conduct its betting business tax-free. ®

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