Antigua Seeks Restraining Order against BoS

1 December 2006

The Financial Services Regulatory Committee (FSRC) of the twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda announced Thursday that it has applied for a restraining order in the High Court of Justice against beleaguered U.K. operator BETonSPORTS (BoS).

Under the order, BoS is to be restrained from, among other things, entering into any agreement or arrangement to sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of cash assets within or outside of Antigua and Barbuda without the consent, management and supervision of the FSRC.

The application also calls for BoS to account for its assets and obligations and provide information that will assist the FSRC in ensuring that BoS consumers are protected.

FSRC Director of Gaming Kaye McDonald observed, "While jurisdiction of the [U.S.] government over [BoS] is questionable, by virtue of being the holder of an Interactive gaming and an Interactive Wagering license issued by the [Antiguan] authorities, [BoS] has acquiesced to our international jurisdiction over the company and its assets.

"It is important for the protection of consumers that whatever assets [BoS] has remaining be properly available to depositors and other creditors and not be dissipated on fines or penalties or otherwise improperly disposed," she added.

Lebrecht Hesse, Chairman of the FSRC, stated, "We believe that the United States should step aside and ensure that our regulators can enforce and oversee the application of the laws of [A&B] to the orderly dissolution of [BoS]. We are disappointed that the U.S. efforts to prohibit cross-border competition in gambling and betting services have led to the disruption of a once-healthy and robust service provider, but we are just as adamant that our jurisdiction be respected in the interests of consumers and others."

A hearing of the application is scheduled for Monday, at which time BoS will have the opportunity to respond to the application for the restraining order.

The application comes shortly after the U.S. civil suit against BoS and its affiliates, which was settled on Nov. 9.

Chris Krafcik is the editor of IGamingNews. He lives in St. Louis, Mo.