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British gaming shares plunge after US bill bans online gambling
Cat : Sustainable development
Date : 2006-10-03 18:15:42                      Reader : 318
with harm more than use , it is also strictly forbidden. Humanity should think of human interests for all rather than  under pretext of freedom individuals .


Sustaianble development

Associated France Press (AFP) 3/10/2006

British gaming shares plunge after US bill bans online gambling


LONDON (AFP) - The share prices of gaming giants listed in London have dived after US lawmakers backed a bill to outlaw gambling over the Internet, dealers said.

On the FTSE 100 of leading shares, PartyGaming shed 61 percent of its value in early deals. Sportingbet dived 63 percent and 888 Holdings slid 44 percent on the second tier FTSE 250. All three earn the majority of their revenues in the United States.

Elsewhere, Neteller plunged 58 percent and Emire Online lost 34 percent of its value. Despite heavy losses to the gaming sector, both the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 indices were higher in morning trade.

The market was taken by surprise as the US Congress unexpectedly rushed through The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act on Saturday, dealers said.

US President George W. Bush was expected to sign the bill into law within two weeks, after which PartyGaming and 888 said they would suspend their business with US residents.

The act makes it illegal for finance companies to collect credit-card payments from customers using Internet gaming sites.

"This development is a significant setback for our company, our shareholders, our players and our industry," PartyGaming chief executive Mitch Garber said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

"While US horse race betting, state lotteries, fantasy contests and certain other online gaming activities have been exclusively protected under the new law, we are disappointed that the popularity and skill of poker in particular have not also been specifically protected."

888 Holdings said suspension of its US activities would have "a material adverse impact on results for this year and beyond".

Sportingbet said it was "disappointed" by the decision in Congress, adding that it would have "a material impact" on trading. Sportingbet pointed out that during the year to the end of July, 2006, 62 percent of the company's gross win was generated from US-based customers.

Last month, 888 revealed that 52 percent of its revenues came from the United States, while PartyGaming has around 75 percent of its business in America.

Congress' backing for the gambling law meanwhile comes following the recent US arrests of BetonSports chief executive David Carruthers and Sportingbet chairman Peter Dicks over alleged illegal Internet gambling on sport.

Dicks has since resigned his post.

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