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Gaming firms feel the pinch

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Authorities in Louisiana are warning executives working for online gaming companies to stay away from the state or risk arrest.

Police told the FT they had four arrest warrants ready for workers at Sportingbet - the company's chairman was arrested earlier this month.

Sportingbet finance director Andy McIver told Reuters: "I'm personally working on the assumption that it is a stronger rather than a weaker possibility."

And we've got to assume he knows about odds.

France is also getting in on the act. It arrested the joint chief executives of BetandWin - the company which complained that the French government's monopoly on gambling was unfair.

This week also saw the resignation of World Gaming's American chairman James Grossman over fears that he would risk arrest if he returned to his home country.

Further, William Hill said today it would stop taking bets from US customers - or at least customers who use a US credit card. The company said it understood it was allowed to take such bets, but would take the prudent course until the law is clearer.

The cases come while the US House of Representatives considers an update to the country's gaming laws.

The continuing uncertainty has hit the markets hard with shares across the sector plunging. Almost £2.5bn has been wiped off the sector's market value. ®

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