Online gaming firm, BetOnSports, submitted a guilty plea to a federal court in Missouri to charges of money laundering and racketeering. Its founder, Gary Kaplan recently denied the same charges.
The London-based company will now faces fines of up to $500,000 (£251,880), plus billions of pounds in forfeitures and the return of money held on behalf of US account holders. BetOnSports will also supply witnesses and evidence in the continuing case against its founder Mr Kaplan and former CEO David Carruthers as part of the agreement to avoid further criminal prosecution.
Both men remain under arrest pending trial.
US attorney Catherine Hanaway stated that the plea “should put an end to the BetOnSports illegal gambling empire.”
According to the lawyer representing BetOnSports, Jeffrey Demerath, the firm will now cease operations and be wound up.
Betfair backs new venture Virgin Bets
Virgin Games is launching a branded betting service, Virgin Bets in a bid to capitalise on the burgeoning on gambling sector and on the growing public interest in entertainment and novelty bets.
The new venture has been launched with bookmakers Betfair and will be supported by an online campaign.
Virgin Bets will take bets on sports events and entertainment such as the winner of this year’s Big Brother. It will initially cover entertainment, football, cricket, golf, greyhounds, motor sport, rugby and tennis, with horseracing to come later this year.
Virgin Togel Singapore Games chief executive Simon Burridge says: “Virgin Games is all about fun and entertainment, so novelty betting is a good fit for the brand.
Although entertainment betting is seen as a sideline by most of the traditional bookies, we believe it is a market with huge potential. Every year, millions of people spend millions of pounds phoning and texting votes into reality TV shows. Virgin Bets will give these reality TV experts a chance to back their favourite contestants and share the winning feeling.”
He adds that because the group has teamed up with Betfair that much of the time Virgin Bets “odds will be better value than traditional bookies, meaning punters can place their bets with confidence that they are getting the best deal.”
Hungary To Privatise State Lottery
A bill regulating state asset management, which could lead to the privatisation of Hungary’s state-owned lottery company Szerencsejáték, is going before the Hungarian parliament today.
This has caused experts to warn that the government may not be able to find the support it needs to win a majority vote on the sale of the gaming company if the bill passes.
“The government has decided to merge the state privatisation agency ÁPV, the Central Treasury and the National Land Fund into a single company named National Asset Manager, which will take over the role of managing the state’s assets,” Finance Minister János Veres announced.
The state monopoly has increased its turnover by nearly 70 per cent over the past two years in the country, where average gambling revenues per resident are the highest amongst lottery lotto companies of Central and Eastern European countries that joined the EU in May 2004.