Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/08/11/betonsports_leaves_us/

Betonsports retreats from US

All bets are off

By Christopher Williams

Posted in Financial News, 11th August 2006 11:20 GMT

Betonsports Plc has decided to shut down its US operation, which accounts for around three quarters of its business. The London-listed firm has axed 800 workes in Costa Rica and Antigua, where it ran the US service from.

The company said after reviewing its options the Caribbean operations were no longer viable. A restraining order applied by a federal court prevents it from taking any bets from US punters.

Directors said they would try and refund unpaid accounts, but it "will depend upon the company's ability to persuade banks and cash processors to release its funds."

Trading stock in the company has been suspended. The Betonsports site is till closed, following suspension on July 19.

A statement said the Betonsports hopes to focus on its Asian operation in order to pay creditors. Asia currently accounts for just five per cent of profits.

Betonsports recently sacked its chief executive David Carruthers after he and the firm were indicted on a total of 22 counts of fraud and racketeering through Betonsports. Authorities allege the company dodged taxes on more than $3.3bn (£1.7bn) in bets taken from American gamblers.

The prosecution is part of a crackdown on online gambling, illegal throughout the US.®