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Dikshit is Fully Cooperating With US Authorities

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Dec/17/2008

The Financial Times is reporting that PartyGaming founder Anurag Dikshit has appeared in the Southern District Court of New York this week, pleading guilty to a charge related to Internet betting in which he will pay a $300 million fine. 

Mr Dikshit, the largest shareholder in the UK-listed company and one of the youngest billionaires, read a statement expressing regret for his actions.

"I came to believe there was a high probability that the company's business was illegal under US laws," Mr Dikshit said. "I acknowledge my actions and have come to believe that what I did was wrong."

Mr Dikshit, who has already paid $100m, will pay another $100m within three months and forfeit the final instalment before September 30, 2009. He also agreed to co-operate with the US Department of Justice.

While a two year jail sentence could also be handed down to Dikshit, people close to the 207th richest man in the world said they think a jail sentence is highly unlikely, adding that the two-year adjournment in his sentencing was intended to give sufficient time for him to demonstrate he was co-operating with the DoJ.

The irony of all this being that Dikshit was apparently not the subject of any investigation.  His was a voluntary action in order to prevent future prosecution and to enable PartyGaming to become a valued acquisition target.  Gambling911.com has learned that Las Vegas executives are already reviewing the options of acquiring a firm such as PartyGaming, which can provide them with an industry jumpstart.  Outside of a failed attempt by MGM to enter the European online gambling market a few years back, economically devastated Las Vegas has done little to enter the lucrative multi-billion dollar industry.

There is another irony in that, while the US Government is seeking $300 million from Dikshit, just down the street from the court house investors have been bilked out of $50 billion by Bernard Madoff.  Investors, on the other hand, made out big with Party when they first debuted on the London AIM.  That year, 2004, PartyGaming was the single biggest IPO.

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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