Party Gaming Founder involved in massive settlement with US Authorities
In what is very likely a “good will” gesture of epic proportions, Party Gaming founder Anurag Dikshit has plead guilty to charges of violating an archaic US law that prohibits placing bets over a “wire”, or in this case – The Internet. Coughing up a staggering 300 Million US dollars, Mr. Dikshit has agreed to plead guilty and part with a significant share of his fortune. As one of the early pioneers of Internet gambling, Party Gaming is responsible for brands such as Party Poker, Party Bingo, and Party Casino. Millions of people have played for fun and real money on their various web properties.
A registered company that trades on the London Stock Exchange, Party Gaming executives likely pressured Anurag to settle this case. Since the US has such as strong stance against online gambling, Party Gaming voluntarily withdrew from the market a few years ago. However, with pressure from not only the Poker Players Alliance but a mounting debt from bailing out financial institutions and now the automotive market, the US may look to new avenues to bring in fresh revenue. The solution may just be legalized gambling on the Internet; something that experts say may bring in billions of dollars in tax revenue. It’s a long shot but with the current state of the US economy it certainly can’t be ruled out.
Mr. Dikshit has already paid out the first $100 Million installment of what will be three total payments. The final payment of $100 Million will be paid in September of 2009 with a deferred sentencing date of December, 2010. Jail time has not been ruled out but it’s not likely that Mr. Dikshit will serve any time as he has cooperated with authorities throughout this investigation. In the interim, his travel will be limited to only a few countries around the world. News of the settlement actually sent Party stock soaring, with the stock hitting an intraday high of ₤176.50.
Dikshit had a net worth of $1.6 billion according to Forbes, who placed him at #618 in their 2007 The World’s Billionaires list.