May 29, 2008 / 11:11 AM / 10 years ago

Sportingbet staff detained by Turkish police

LONDON/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Two employees of Sportingbet SBT.L have been detained by Turkish police, who are holding several people affiliated with its Turkish online gaming website Superbahis.

Shares in Sportingbet, which generated 26 percent of second-quarter gaming revenues and 14 percent of third-quarter gaming revenues in Turkey, were down 5.8 percent at 36.5 pence at 12:04 p.m. British time.

Some forms of gambling are legal in Turkey, such as betting on sports games, but casino gambling is illegal.

The two Sportingbet staff members, who are usually based in London but were on holiday, are not directors, a company spokesman said.

The company said it has had no formal contact from Turkish authorities about the reason for the detentions.

A number of other people related to Superbahis’ ex-marketing partner Maslin Properties have also been detained, Sportingbet said in a statement.

Sportingbet said it was confident of meeting market expectations for the fourth quarter and the full year.

Reporting by Chris Wills and Matthew Scuffham, additional reporting by Daren Butler in Istanbul; Editing by Mark Potter

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