Fine paid to avoid prosecution over past illegal Internet gambling activities in the United States

Online bookmaking giant Sportingbet will pay a $33 million fine to the U.S. Department of Justice to avoid prosecution over past illegal Internet gambling activities in the United States.

As part of a “Non-Prosecution Agreement,” the UK-based, publicly listed operator also will turn over to the DoJ information relating to its U.S. business between 1998 and 2006, when Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

Federal prosecutors say Sportingbet took bets from U.S. citizens during those years. The activities included sports betting, poker and casino games. The company has since discontinued operations in the United States.

“This settlement enables Sportingbet to draw a line under events of the past. It is in the best interests of our shareholders, and we can now look to the future with increased confidence,” said Chief Executive Andrew McIver.

The deal is similar to several brokered with other offshore Web gambling operators. Party Gaming, another major publicly traded company, agreed to forfeit $105 million to the DoJ last year to avoid prosecution.