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Bradley Vallerius

Bradley  Vallerius
Bradley has been researching and writing about the business and law of internet gaming since 2003. His work has covered all aspects of the industry, including technology, finance, advertising, taxation, poker, betting exchanges, and laws and regulations around the world. Bradley can be reached through his website

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BetonSports negotiating settlement

26 Sep 2006

By Bradley Vallerius
Online sportsbook BetonSports is negotiating with U.S. prosecutors to end a 22-count lawsuit, including charges of illegal gambling, racketeering, tax evasion and mail fraud. The company's lawyer, Jeffrey Demerath, informed the U.S. District Court in St. Louis on Sept. 19 that BetonSports wants to settle the case. It was the first time that lawyers for the publicly-listed British company appeared in U.S. court.

District Court Judge Carol Jackson extended the temporary restraining order barring BetonsSports from accepting wagers from customers located in the U.S until Oct. 16. A settlement could be reached by that time.

Any proposed settlement is likely to include a large fine against the company and stipulations regarding the repayment of BetonSports' American customers. The company hasn't reimbursed customers who had deposited money with it before it shut down its American-facing operations on July 19.

The company is eager to settle the matter so that it can move on as a business that does not deal with American customers, said a senior BetonSports spokesperson who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the negotiations. "Basically, settling will allow us to show the investing community that we are reorganizing as a non-U.S.-facing operation," he said. "We think we can compete in that space, but the investing community isn't going to help until this cloud is no longer hanging over our heads."

A federal grand jury unsealed an indictment against BetonSports on July 17 after CEO David Carruthers was arrested by FBI agents at Dallas-Fort Worth InternationalAirport. Seven others associated with the company and residing in the U.S. are also facing charges.

Other online sportsbooks are moving quickly to take advantage of BetonSports' legal problems. The Guardian reported this week that rival online sportsbooks have obtained BetonSports' customers lists and begun bombarding them with unsolicited promotional e-mails.

"There are companies that have been able to obtain our customer list through black market means so we have filed some writs against those companies that are using our database," stated the company spokesperson. "It's not that the company sold it. Basically, someone who worked with the company and got terminated and had access to the database is now selling it."

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