Sportingbet is a worldwide, reputable gambling company that has been around since 1998, making it one of the older companies in the online gambling sector. They have over 2 million users in 30 country markets and report over 8,000 bets made every single day. So it’s not entirely surprising that the U.S. Dept. of Justice decided to go after them in 2010 for illegal sports betting activities. The DOJ seems to have a fondness for “cracking down” on large wagering sites and casinos- perhaps as a means of making up for the millions of dollars that are lost each year to foreign online casinos?
The DOJ technically won their case and Sportingbet was fined a total of $33 million as reparations for tax debt on their revenues from U.S. players utilizing their wagering site. The company was not prosecuted for any other crimes. Today the CEO of the company announced that the third and final installment of this debt was repaid. Surprisingly enough, the Executive officer of Sportingbet added to this statement that the company may even look into re-entering the U.S. market, stating that several opportunities to do so had already arisen. If you just paid $33 mil to a government for taxes, would you really be interested in jumping into business with them? As of yet, of course, http://www.usa.gov/ does not have licenses to grant for online gambling because it has not been declared legal at the federal level (several states do have gambling legislation in the works).
In other Sportingbet news, the company has officially filed an appeal against an injunction called for by Codere, a Spanish casino group that seeks to restrict access to online gambling (Codere is land-based). Sportingbet says that they were never informed that the injunction was filed, were not allowed to present a defense, and that the information previously given to the courts was erroneous. However, despite the attempts of Sportingbet, thus far the injunction has remained and went into effect March 27. As in the case with the U.S., Sportingbet immediately applied for a gaming license from the Spanish Gaming Regulator. It’s almost as if getting Sportingbet upset and costing them money is the most sure-fire way to ensure they make plans to enter your market.