|Online bookmaker Sportingbet resumed trading this morning to a loss of 40 percent on the London Stock Exchange, following the arrest last week of its non executive chairman Peter Dicks, on charges of alleged Internet trading violations. |
Shares in the company were suspended at 239p on Thursday morning at the request of the board of directors, whilst Mr Dicks was being held by authorities at JFK Airport in New York. This morning’s news paints a grim picture for Sportingbet as it resumed trading with more than £400 million being wiped from the previously £1 billion-plus company as shares fell 95.5p to 143.5p.
Sportingbet also confirmed this morning that Mr Dicks had been granted bail of $50,000 at a court hearing on Friday, on condition that he surrenders his passport and remains within the five boroughs of New York. A further hearing on Thursday will see Mr Dicks and his representatives fighting extradition to Louisiana to face charges of Internet trading violations. Sportingbet has reiterated that it has received no correspondence from the State of Louisiana “regarding this or any other matter.”
News of the arrest sent a shockwave through the online gaming world and wiped more than £1 billion of the value of listed companies in the sector. It has also potentially jeopardised the company’s £60 million bid for smaller rival World Gaming, which generates 98 percent of its revenue from the US.