- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 21, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) - Online gambling company Sportingbet PLC has agreed to forfeit $33 million to avoid being prosecuted in the United States for illegally accepting Internet bets made by Americans for nearly a decade.

The London-based company also agreed to permanently restrict its gambling services for U.S. customers, unless there is a change in law. Online gambling currently is illegal in the U.S.

The U.S. attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York announced the deal Monday.

An attorney for Sportingbet, Stuart Slotnick, called it a positive resolution to the case.

Prosecutors say Sportingbet had offered players in the U.S. the opportunity to bet on sports and casino games from 1998 to 2006. In 2001, they say, the company began obscuring bets made by customers on credit cards issued in the U.S.

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