World Gaming boss leaves hot seat

26-09-2006

World Gaming chairman James Grossman has resigned from the online gambling group, with reports claiming that his departure was prompted by fears that he could be arrested in the US, which is cracking down on the activities of internet gaming firms.

World Gaming, which is listed on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and which largely operates out of Antigua, announced yesterday that a non-executive director of the company Clare Roberts had also resigned.

The resignation of Mr Grossman and Ms Roberts comes amid increasing concern amongst executives at online gaming firms that they could be arrested if they travel to the US, which is attempting to curb internet gambling on the grounds that it violates a law against placing interstate bets using telephone lines.

Sportingbet chairman Peter Dicks was arrested in the US earlier this month over allegations that he broke Louisiana laws concerning "gambling by computer", while Betonsports chief executive David Carruthers is currently facing trial after being arrested on racketeering charges at Dallas airport in July.

Both men have protested their innocence and the Financial Times newspaper reports that several online gaming firms have now told their shareholders that their top executives are now avoiding trips to the US for fears that they too could be arrested.

A spokesman for World Gaming indicated that Mr Grossman and Ms Roberts had resigned from the company in order to ensure they were able to pursue other business interests within the US.

Mr Grossman, a former adviser to the US government, practices as a lawyer in the US, as does Ms Roberts, a former attorney general of Antigua.

"Clearly they've got other business interests and they've got to be able to go to the US to be able to carry on their other business interests," the World Gaming spokesman said, according to comments reported in the Daily Telegraph.


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