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    Default Sportingbet employees detained by Turkish officials

    Sportingbet, whose former non-executive chairman Peter Dicks was arrested by US authorities in 2006 and is still awaiting trial, recently had two employees detained in Turkey.

    The employees, according to the Times Online, were Turkish nationals home for a holiday.

    Full story here... http://business.timesonline.co.uk/to...cle4029552.ece

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    More on this from the Turkish Daily News ...

    Launching an operation to fight Internet gambling, police forces raided a building used by a television channel and a betting Web site Wednesday. A “virtual bidding” company's office in Istanbul was raided the same day.

    London-based Sportingbet Plc, the Web bookmaker that owns Paradise Poker, said two British-based employees are among those detained in Turkey.


    Some individuals related to Superbahis, the company's so-called Turkish facing unit, are being held, London-based Sportingbet said in a Regulatory News Service statement yesterday. Though the company did not identify the individuals, it said they were British-based workers who are Turkish nationals on holiday in the country, according to Bloomberg.

    Sportingbet said it continues to trade in Turkey, where it generated about 14 percent of its net gaming revenue in the fiscal third quarter ending April 30. The company is “confident of meeting market expectations” for the fourth quarter, it added.

    The police raid also targeted Shopping TV channel, which is reportedly linked with the owners of superbahis.com.
    The government introduced a law in February 2007 making it illegal for unauthorized operators to offer bets to citizens, Sportingbet said in October. The company does take wagers from clients in the country, though the operations and servers are based outside Turkey, where it is "unclear" whether any judgment relating to the legislation can be enforced, the bookmaker has said.

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    The Telegraph reports that Sportingbet has no plans to get out of Turkey, its third-largest market.

    Andrew McIver, chief executive, admitted he was still in the dark as to why the junior staff, both Turkish nationals, had been arrested and imprisoned last week when they returned from holiday. They were detained alongside around 30 individuals associated with Maslin Properties, Sportingbet's former marketing partner.

    Mr McIver said the Sportingbet staff, who he refused to name, had "been moved from a police station to a prison but they haven't been charged with anything yet". They have been allowed a visit from their families.

    Reports in the Turkish press claim the police are investigating allegations of organised crime, money laundering and tax evasion - rather than any crackdown on internet gambling - though Mr McIver stressed that such reports focused on Maslin.

    "I think those allegations are unfounded against our employees," Mr McIver said. "What we really need to do is collar the right judge and tell him the police's version of this is a load of old tosh."
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/mai...5/cnbet105.xml

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    Both employees have now been released, the latest will be put on trial on Jan. 26, 2009. Formal charges have not yet been announced. The other Sportingbet employee was released in July without being charged.

    Full story here ... http://www.cityam.com/index.php?news=22851

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