Consolidated Gaming Loses a License, Gains a Sports Book

23 January 2003

St. John, Antigua and Darwin, Australia are separated by 18,000 kilometers of ocean, mountains and desert, and for the moment, linked by an Internet sports betting company that finds itself expanding its horizons on one side of the world and watching the walls crumble down on the other.

In Antigua, Internet sports book confirmed today that it has been acquired by Consolidated Gaming Corp. Ltd. of Australia. The news comes just two days after the Northern Territory Racing Commission suspended Consolidated Gaming's betting license because the group failed to pay a customer $50,000 in winnings and an additional $50,000 in tax money owed.

As of today, visitors to Consolidated Gaming's betting site, Consolidated SportsBet, were greeted with an "under construction" message saying a new and improved site would be up and running soon.

Commission Chairman Peter Allen said the suspension will remain in effect until the operators prove they can pay their debts to players as well as pay the turnover tax, which was due Jan. 12.

In addition to the $50,000 owed to a single player, Allen said, the site failed to pay back lesser amounts to two other punters, but those claims were not involved with the suspension investigation.

"The NT Racing Commission has suspended the license of Consolidated SportsBet because it has failed to provide evidence of making payment to its clients," Allen explained in a prepared statement.

He added, "A person [must be] able to take their winnings out of their account and the licensee is obliged to have that money available."

Even once the money is paid, there is no guarantee the suspension will be lifted; the commission said the company would have to demonstrate that it has the capacity to pay out winnings to all of its players.

Allen said the investigation into the missed $50,000 payout came on the heels of numerous complaints from customers who were worried about slow payment in recent months.

While the incident gives Australia a black eye to some degree, Allen pointed out that other operators in the region have operated in full compliance with regulations and standards.

"I'm keen to emphasize that the other sports betting agencies in the NT are not even subject to discussion or a ripple of concern," he said. "There is an industry out there that is doing the right thing; this is a failure to do the right thing."

Meanwhile, World Wide Tele Sports, the operator of, confirmed to IGN that the site had been sold to Consolidated Gaming.

Neither Bill Scott, the owner of BetWWTS, nor Simon Noble, the former head of and current CEO of, were immediately available for comment.

In Scott's absence, a spokesperson for BetWWTS told IGN that the allure of being affiliated with a public company on the Australian stock exchange (ticker symbol: CGC.AZ) was one of the biggest selling points.

The spokesperson wouldn't comment on the suspension in the Northern Territories or whether the development would effect the sale.

Financial details of the sale were not disclosed.

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