|American authorities have cracked down for a second time on British internet gambling groups, arresting the chairman of Sportingbet under the accusation of gambling by computer.|
Peter Dicks, 64, was arrested at 2am London time yesterday at John F Kennedy International Airport in New York on a warrant from Louisiana state police.
Mr Dicks is being held in New York, and faces a bail hearing on Friday after being told by the judge that he did not have the power to grant bail.
A spokeswoman for the Louisiana state police said they would seek to bring Mr Dicks to the state to stand trial.
A separate hearing has been set at New York City Criminal Court on September 14 to decide whether Mr Dicks should be extradited to Louisiana.
Dicks is the second executive of a British online gambling firm to be arrested in the U.S. this summer. On July 16 David Carruthers, CEO of BetonSports was arrested while switching flights at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.
As was the case immediately following the arrest of Carruthers, the arrest of Dicks has sent gaming stocks on the London Stock Exchange plunging as investors and the online gambling industry in general struggle to come to grips with the hazardous conditions of their market.
The arrests are the latest in a string of US moves designed to discourage internet gambling.
The Department of Justice has for years insisted that online gambling is a violation of the Federal Wire Act, but until the arrest of Carruthers in July companies have been able to operate in foreign-regulated jurisdictions without redress.