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Director of 666Bet Arrested in £21m Fraud Investigation
- March 30, 2015 By Oliver Young -
According to The Independent, the director of 666Bet, an online gambling operator, has been arrested in connection with a £21 million fraud as well as money-laundering investigation. The report revealed on Sunday that Paul Bell, 666Bet’s director, was arrested at Heathrow airport last week.
666Bet’s head of brand, Neil Andrews, wrote an e-mail statement in which he “categorically” stated that the police investigation wasn’t related to 666Bet’s activities in the “gaming world.” He also added that the inquiry had nothing to do with the day-to-day running of the company.
In the online gambling world 666Bet is known for signing advertising deals with West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City. Nonetheless, the company’s licence has been suspended by the UK Gambling Commission after the news of a possible fraud hit the public.
Paul Bell has been arrested as part of a joint National Crime Agency and HM Revenue & Customs investigation. Besides Bell there have been arrested six other people as well. Additionally, the police have raided 13 properties and seized £1 million in cash as part of the operation which is called Operation Bannock. The operation involves officers and investigators from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man as well.
It is interesting that 666Bet’s director, who is a former stockbroker, was quickly released by the police after he was first arrested. However, the next day he was arrested again at the moment he arrived on the Isle of Man using his private jet.
The British Gambling Commission refused to make any comments on the recent events. Nevertheless, the agency made a statement saying that the suspension of Metro Play Limited licence that covers Metro Play and 666Bet does not stop the company from returning balances to its customers.
In any case, there is not a reason to believe that Metro Play, Metro Play Ltd or 666Bet are involved in the Operation Bannock.
666Bet Suffering From new wave of Regulation
666Bet as a company had big plans for extending its influence on the online gambling market. According to some information by insiders of the industry, 666Bet wanted to open an office in Taiwan in order to get advantage of the popularity of the Premier League in Asia.
However, the company was just another gambling firm which was suffering from the new wave of regulation in Europe. The latest regulations have caused a serious trouble for the global iGaming industry whose worth is amazing £25 billion.
For example, the British Government required all operators that are based overseas to apply for licence and announced that they will be taxed on their revenue from British players. In the meantime, another tax is troubling online gambling operators which is known as the European Union digital tax.
These changes are seen as negative for the iGaming operators and it is believed that many online and live dealer casinos may be closed down or have to cut back on marketing costs in order to survive.