October 19, 2007

Sportingbet Announces Annual Profit Loss

Online gambling company Sportingbet PLC reported an annual loss on Wednesday but said its other operations were doing well and it expected to grow in Europe.

Sportingbet was forced to quit the US after lawmakers effectively made its business illegal and has stated a loss of $637.5 million for the past financial year after posting a profit of $141 million the year before.

It announced that revenue fell 36 percent to $2.69 billion from $4.19 billion after it lost over 75 percent of its business when US legislators outlawed credit card-based online gambling in October of last year.

The Alderney-licensed company stated that was pleased with results from its continuing operations with turnover from remaining operations up 23.3 percent at to $2.2 billion compared with $1.81 billion for the same period last year.

'Given the enormity of the change and restructuring that has taken place at Sportingbet, I am pleased to report a strong increase in gross win in the continuing business and especially pleased with the growth in our core European sports betting business of 48 percent,' said Andrew McIver, Chief Executive for Sportingbet.

Sportingbet, like many of its rivals, pulled out of the US and sold its operations cheaply after the White House outlawed the industry. It sold its American operations, comprising a US-facing sportsbetting and casino business and a poker operation to Antigua-based Jazette Enterprises Ltd in October, and offloaded $13.2 million of debt. Its operations now consist of a European sports, casino and poker business, an Australian sports business and the non-US Paradise Poker business.