PartyGaming, Plc. chief urges communication from U.S.

Mitch Garber, PartyGaming, Plc. chief executive, spoke Thursday about the online gambling situation in the United States, expressing his displeasure with the U.S. Department of Justice's attacks on the industry.

The executive spoke less than an hour after hearing of Peter Dicks' arrest. Dicks is the non-executive chairman of Sportingbet, Plc., which owns Paradise Poker, and he was taken into custody after arriving at the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York after customs officials were alerted to a warrant issued in Louisiana charging him with illegal Internet gambling.

Garber spoke out against countries like the United States that are attempting to ban online gambling while protecting their own domestic gambling interests. He said those countries, which all have gaming themselves of one kind or another, are just penalizing the industry for being innovative and growing faster than the government can handle.

PartyGaming, Plc., which operates, is licensed in an offshore territory like most Internet gambling operators and isn't subject to regulation in the main markets in which it operates. Now that Britain has opened up to licensing gaming businesses there starting in 2007, the company may consider licensing there to give itself more regulatory legitimacy.

Garber praised the authorities in Britain for its progressive attitude toward the online gambling industry. He also mentioned that PartyGaming, Plc. is an FTSE 100-compliant company, and if the Department of Justice has an issue with the company, he hopes it would notify them and communicate with them fully.

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