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Three Sportingbet employees face renewed Turkish charges

Online gambling group Sportingbet's conflict with the Turkish authorities over its online gambling activities has surfaced again as three of its employees were again caught up in renewed legal action in Turkey, where the group offers its internet services in spite of a local ban, reports the Financial Times newspaper in London.

This week may see the trio appearing in the Istanbul High Criminal Court in a fresh hearing on a police case that was triggered almost exactly two years ago following a Turkish police action in which UK-based Turkish employees were arrested and later released after allegations of illegal gambling activity by the company.

The impending High Court hearing came to notice in the prospectus issued by Sportingbet on its graduation to the main London Stock Exchange last week. The company reported to potential and existing investors that the 2008 case had been referred to the Istanbul High Criminal Court by the Istanbul Criminal Court of First Instance after it decided it did not have jurisdiction to hear the case.

The FT reports that a Sportingbet source informed it that the new hearing would involve three employees, two of whom had been among those arrested in 2008, but that the employees concerned would not be attending the hearing. He did not divulge their names.

"The group has been advised that prosecution outside Turkey or extradition from the UK is highly unlikely," the company noted in its prospectus.

The FT report claims that Sportingbet derives 17% of its gross gaming revenue from its Turkish language web service - making Turkey one of its top four markets, alongside Greece, Spain and Australia - but it has no physical presence in the country.

Source: InfoPowa News

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