David Carruthers, the former chief executive of indicted online gaming company BETonSPORTS Plc, was freed on Wednesday on $1 million bond with strict curbs on his movements.
Carruthers, 48, must wear an electronic monitoring device and remain confined to a St. Louis residence except for special circumstances until his trial on racketeering and fraud charges, according to the court-ordered terms of his bond.
BETonSPORTS fired Carruthers after his July 16 arrest during a layover at a Texas airport and last week announced it had shut down its operations in Costa Rica and Antigua serving U.S. bettors. The company and a dozen executives, several from related Florida companies, are the subject of a 22-count federal indictment in St. Louis.
The indictment against the London-based company, which charges it with failing to pay billions of dollars in excise taxes, sent a shudder through the burgeoning online betting industry — for which the United States is a key market.
Analysts say U.S. authorities want the courts to make online betting illegal based on an application of the 1961 Wire Act.
A judge in St. Louis has enjoined the company from taking bets from the United States through at least Sept. 1 and ordered BETonSPORTS to repay bettors from their outstanding accounts.
BETonSPORTS, which has pledged to make good on its debts, has yet to offer a defense to the U.S. charges, or even to have a lawyer present in court.
Trading in its shares has been suspended for more than three weeks.