|Online gambling provider Sportingbet has announced that it has no plans to vacate the Turkish market, its third biggest, despite struggling to discover why two of its employees had been arrested in Istanbul.|
According to a piece from Britain’s Telegraph newspaper, Andrew McIver, Chief Executive Officer for Sportingbet, admitted that he was still in the dark as to why the junior staff, both Turkish nationals, had been arrested and detained by police upon their return from holiday. He said the employees were arrested alongside about 30 individuals associated with Maslin Properties, Sportingbet's former marketing partner.
McIver refused to name the two employees but confirmed that they had ‘been moved from a police station to a prison but they haven't been charged with anything yet’.
Reports from Turkish media sources suggest that police are investigating allegations of organised crime, money laundering and tax evasion rather than carrying out a crackdown on Internet gambling with McIver stressing that such reports focused on Maslin.
'I think those allegations are unfounded against our employees,' said McIver.
'What we really need to do is collar the right judge and tell him the police's version of this is a load of old tosh.'
He revealed that he was ‘relying on Turkish lawyers whom we have appointed to represent them’ for information.
'I am vague on this because information is not readily available,” said McIver.
“It's not the way the Turkish legal system works. This is not England. We have decided as a board that no director should go to Turkey.'
McIver said he had no immediate plans to pull out of Turkey as rival Bwin has done and last week’s third-quarter results showed underlying operating profits jumped from $5.9 million to $14.3 million.