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Sportingbet to Move Operations Offshore

Online gambling company Sportingbet, which was forced to quit the U.S. after lawmakers effectively made the business illegal, said Wednesday it will transfer the group's operations to the Channel Islands.

The company said it is making the move offshore because there remains uncertainty surrounding the precise operational requirements of the 2005 U.K. Gambling Act. The Channel Islands are subject to different laws and financial regulation than the mainland U.K.

"With ever-limited time remaining to adopt the eventual requirements, the board has now concluded that its most prudent course of action is to transfer those activities that it anticipates may be covered by the Act to a jurisdiction that has a more defined regulatory environment," Sportingbet said in a statement.

The company will move all licensable activities from the U.K. to the Channel Islands by Sept. 1. Sportingbet expects to incur a 13.5 million pound ($26.6 million) charge in the year to July 31 as a result of the move.

Sportingbet has been reorganizing the business since the passage of the Unlawful Gaming Enforcement Act forced out online gambling operators from the U.S.

Its shares fell 3.4% to 64 pence ($1.26) on the London Stock Exchange.

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