Comments made by the CEO of Sportingbet.com, Andy McIver, to the publication eGaming Review this week reveal that the company and its employees have faced a tough struggle following its withdrawal from the United States market in the wake of the UIGEA.
Despite a trading update anticipating rising operating profits for the first nine months to date of GBP 18.7 million (2007: GBP 6.7 million) the company has had to go through a painful downsizing, with possible redundancies at the head office following a move to Guernsey and Dublin of up to a third of the staff. The final decision is subject to a consultation process.
Among those departing will be Chief Operating Officer David Hobday, who McIver praised, telling eGaming Review: “We brought David Hobday in as the business had got so big. The US was doing very well, and sadly six months later UIGEA happened. At that point we did a lot of downsizing, waited until that bedded in and then re-assessed the situation. It is by no means Dave’s fault.
“It is sad for the individuals concerned, and it does seem slightly peverse that the company has been performing so well.” McIver added that the board thanked Hobday for his hard work and dedication.
Commenting on the improved business performance, McIver said it reflected the long hard slog the company had faced since the U.S. withdrawal in late 2006, and is the result of a lot of hard work.
"If you lose the amount of business we lost it’s amazing to still be here," he added. "In terms of forecasts for the end of the year, the market thinks we will do GBP28 million, and we are happy with that.”
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