The passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act as an adjunct to the Safe Port Act sparked a stream of announcements by London-listed operators confirming the sale or closure of their US- facing operations, while World Gaming collapsed into administration.
Sportingbet and Leisure & Gaming both announced the sale of their US-facing operations for nominal sums, while Excapsa Software confirmed the disposal of all its operating assets for $130 million (£70 million) and its intention to return the cash to investors and cancel its AIM quote.
Sportingbet, which derives almost two thirds of its business from America, announced the sale of Sportsbook.com, its US-facing sports betting and casino business, to Jazette Enterprises, a new offshore vehicle set up with Sportsbook management.
To avoid any accusation that it is profiting from an illegal business, Sportingbet has sold out for just $1, although it has also offloaded £13.2 million of liabilities and saved on redundancy and closure costs of about $14 million. It has closed its Paradise Poker business to US residents.
Andy McIver, the chief executive-designate, said that he was “saddened to have to dispose of such a fantastic business”, but was confident that Sportingbet could rebuild its position by developing its European and Australian sports and casino businesses and the non-US business of Paradise Poker.