Bad news for World Gaming shareholders as the company has just announced that it is to file for administration, a direct response to the US online gaming ban that looks all set to be passed later today.

World Gaming, based largely in Antigua, generated the vast majority of its revenues from the US. The company suspended its shares on 9 October, pending a decision on its future.

Four World Gaming directors have already quit, including CEO Daniel Moran and CFO David Naismith. Former chairman James Grossman quit three weeks ago, following the arrests of Sportingbet and Betonsports executives.

Last week World Gaming said it may have been in breach of its loan conditions after shares plummeted following the news from the US that it was rush through an online gaming ban, seemingly on moral grounds. The company owes around £12.7m.

Earlier today we reported that Sportingbet had offloaded its US operations for just $1, to save $27m in costs, which would have been incurred were the company forced to close down its US division. Sportingbet employed about 500 personnel in the US.

Yesterday, Poker Stars, the second-largest online poker site, issued a statement that made clear its thoughts on the ban, with regards to playing poker.

“PokerStars has received extensive expert advice from within and outside the U.S. which concluded that these provisions do not alter the U.S. legal situation with respect to online poker.”

The US online gaming ban could yet claim more victims, though we’re not entirely convinced that it will be any more than a temporary measure. The US could earn many billions of dollars in taxes were it to regulate the market.

Chris Lake

Published 13 October, 2006 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

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