26 May 2010

Slots News: Court hearing for online gambling site Sportingbet

In 2008 Sportingbet were part of a legal investigation in Turkey and although the case has since been closed the online gambling company has now returned to court in a renewed legal battle. Two UK based Turkish Nationals stood trial in 2008 after being arrested by Turkish Police as part of a crackdown on gambling online.

Now three of the company’s employees are back in court because of Sportingbet’s involvement with the Turkish Market. Sportingbet do not have any physical presence in the country but their Turkish language interface is very popular making up 17% of Sportingbet’s gross gaming revenue which puts Turkey in the top four largest markets with Greece, Australia and Spain. At the moment there is a ban on online gambling in Turkey and even though the company do not actually run their business from the country they are still in breach of the strict gambling laws by providing an interface for Turkish nationals.

The case was passed by Istanbul High Criminal Court in 2009 as they did not have the jurisdiction to hear the charges against those who were arrested in 2008. No further details or names have been released regarding the arrests though 7% from the group’s share price was wiped out so a fresh scandal can only spell more trouble for share prices.

The three employees will probably not be in court for this hearing and Sportingbet sources have said “The group has been advised that prosecution outside Turkey or extradition from the UK is highly unlikely.”