|It has emerged that the non executive chairman of UK based gambling company Sportingbet has been arrested in the US whilst in transit through the country.|
Peter Dicks, 64, is due to appear in a US court although details of the charges he is likely to face are still unclear. In a statement on the company website, Sportingbet said that, “Whilst visiting the US on non-Sportingbet business, Mr Peter Dicks, aged 64, Non-Executive Chairman of Sportingbet Plc, was detained by US Authorities at approximately 2.00am BST on Thursday, 6 September 2006.”
The company’s board of directors has sought immediate temporary suspension of Sportingbet’s shares on the London Stock Exchange, which has already seen shares in Partypoker plunging more than 11% and 888 Holdings sinking almost 17% since the announcement.
The arrest is certain to spark fresh anxiety within an online gaming industry still reeling from the arrest of former BetOnSports CEO David Carruthers, as US authorities expand their operations to discourage Internet gambling.
News of the arrest came just hours after the firm announced it was in talks with smaller rival World Gaming about a potential £56.6m takeover.
Sportingbet declined to confirm why Mr Dicks had been arrested or where he was being held ahead of a pending court appearance.