Now L&G wants to wipe the U.S. slate clean

Now L&G wants to wipe the U.S. slate clean

The Leisure and Gaming plc group has joined other Internet gambling companies in opening negotiations with the US Department of Justice in a bid to clean its pre-UIGEA slate prior to the possible legalisation of online gambling in the United States.

CEO Richard Creed said he was cautiously optimistic about the prospects of a successful outcome to talks with United States officials. L&G grew out of the US-facing VIP Internet sportsbetting group on the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006 and has been operating in Europe with a London listing.

"We actually sustained a cash loss on our US activities because the price paid for VIP at float was a lot higher than it sold for after UIGEA passed," Creed said this week. "So we are in a very different situation to other former US-facing operators."

Subject to a satisfactory outcome to the negotiations, Creed said the company hoped to play a role in industry consolidation, either as a buyer or seller. He said the decision to open talks had been a difficult one because L&G had not been in contact with the American authorities since the UIGEA passed three years ago. "But I am here to build up the company, to assess any offers that come in for L&G or acquire other companies if the right opportunity occurs," he explained.

The group's second quarter results for the period ending 31 June show revenues up at Euro 28.4 million, but net margin down by 13.5 percent. The company recently signed a sponsorship agreement with the football club Palermo in Italy, where it is especially active.

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