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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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Dicks Free to Return to UK

29 Sep 2006

By Bradley Vallerius
Ex-Sportingbet chairman Peter Dicks has been cleared to return to the UK after New York Governor George Pataki again refused to sign an extradition order from the state of Louisiana.

"The Governor's counsels have carefully reviewed Louisiana's request to extradite Mr. Dicks and have determined that New York law does not permit extradition under the particular facts and circumstances of this case," said Jessica Scaperotti, press secretary for New York State's Criminal Justice Department.

"Although the charges against Mr. Dicks clearly raise very serious allegations regarding the use of a British gaming web site by a Louisiana resident in violation of Louisiana law, New York's extradition statute requires an additional showing that one or more of the criminal acts allegedly committed by Mr. Dicks occured in New York or a third state. The Governor's attorneys have determined that this strict legal requirement has not been met."

Dicks will fly home tonight, according to his lawyer Barry Slotnick.

"The extradition warrant was not signed, Peter Dicks has not committed any crimes, and quite clearly we do believe the governor's action has exonerated him," said Slotnick. "We hope to resolve issues in Louisiana so we can all go about living our lives happily ever after."

Dicks was arrested Sept. 6 at New York John F. Kennedy International Airport at the request of Louisiana authorities. Dicks faces charges of illegal gambling by computer in Louisiana. Pataki refused to honor Louisiana's extradition request on Sept. 14, allowing Dicks to return home but ordered him to return for another hearing on Sept. 29.

Yesterday's hearing was postponed because New York officials, including Pataki and Attorney General Elliot Spitzer, required more time to make a decision.

"This matter does, however, highlight the importance of ensuring that New York's 1930s-era extradition laws are updated to keep pace with the Internet and other new technologies, and the Governor has therefore requested the New York State Law Revision Commission to develop recommendations to modernize our State's extradition laws to ensure they fairly reflect the modern high-tech world in which we live," added Scaperotti.

The Louisiana arrest warrant for Dicks, as well as others for unidentified online gambling executives, remain in effect. Dicks and the others still risk arrest and extradition to Louisiana if they venture into other parts of the U.S.

Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco says she will continue to fight online gambling. "This (failure to expedite) highlights the need for Louisiana to work with Congress to help fight online gambling, and I will ask the Louisiana Congressional Delegation to join with me in strengthening federal provisions to prevent online gambling," she said. "I will continue to call for regulation in this field of gambling and uphold my pledge to prevent the expansion of gaming in Louisiana."

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