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BetonSports pleads guilty, guilty, guilty

Stephen Beard May 25, 2007
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BetonSports pleads guilty, guilty, guilty

Stephen Beard May 25, 2007
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TEXT OF STORYBOB MOON: Opponents of Internet gambling are the winners today. The British online gaming company BetonSports has pleaded guilty to U.S. federal racketeering charges. The company faces a fine of $500,000. Stephen Beard reports from London.


STEPHEN BEARD: In a deal with the U.S. Justice Department, BetonSports admitted a string of felonies. Among them: illegal gaming, money laundering and fraud.

The company’s also agreed to help U.S. prosecutors. They’re preparing a case against BetonSports’ former chief executive. He’s been under house arrest in the U.S. since last July.

The U.S. authorities launched their crackdown last summer, and in the fall Congress curbed the right to use credit cards for online gambling.

The whole online gaming industry has lost its most lucrative market says analyst Stuart Fraser.

STUART FRASER: I think it’s effectively dead in the United States for the time being until we see a political change, or a political will change, put it like that. It’s going to be a dead area for the Internet betting companies.

The World Trade Organization recently ruled that America’s ban on online gambling amounts to illegal discrimination against foreign companies.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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