|Sportingbet CEO Nigel Payne has welcomed the new bill in Congress that rejects prohibition of online gambling as ‘ineffectual’ and promotes regulation of it, particularly regarding underage and problem gamblers.|
Mr Payne said in a statement released Thursday, 'We are delighted at the introduction of this proposed legislation.
“Whilst this bill represents just the start of what is likely to be a long process towards regulation, we believe that we can now begin to move beyond unsuccessful prohibitive legislation and start to focus on regulating the industry in a proper manner.
The bill was introduced by US representative John Conyers Sr., the ranking member of the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee, on the last day of Congress. Sportingbet believes it will be reintroduced at the start of the 108th term, early next year. In the US, bills must be passed prior to the adjournment of Congress, or the process starts from scratch next time around.
“Every country in the world has online gamblers and it was beyond comprehension how the Americans thought they could be any different,' said Payne.
At the end of September, American gamblers accounted for 552,939 of UK-based Sportingbet’s 752,706 customers.
Mr Payne said the news would have a significantly positive impact on shareholder value, as it removed the uncertainty over US legislative actions, which had so far depressed the company’s share price. Shares are up 6% at 44p, valuing Sportingbet at £71m.