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Last Updated: Monday, 9 October 2006, 10:33 GMT 11:33 UK
World Gaming on hold after US ban
Playing card and betting chips
World Gaming relies heavily on the US for revenue
UK-listed gambling firm World Gaming has put its shares on hold, as a US ban on internet gambling threatens to dry up a vital source of revenue.

The decision - effective immediately - comes after "fundamental uncertainty over [the firm's] ability to continue trading", World Gaming said.

World Gaming had been one of the worst hit after the US ban last week, with its share price slumping by 88%.

Like other gambling firms, it relies heavily on revenue from US customers.

For World Gaming, the US represents 95% of its business via the sites sportingbet.com, sportsbetting.com and betonusa.com - an even greater share than its rivals.

Rule change

The company warned last week that it could be in "technical default of its loan conditions", after seeing its debt level soar to $23m (12.7m).

Shares in the firm plummeted after it announced being in "discussions with lenders".

The new US legislation prohibits firms from taking internet bets, and prevents banks and credit card firms from allowing online payments.

Passed by the US Congress at the end of September, analysts widely expect President George W Bush to sign it into law.

After last week's huge drop in value, World Gaming shares had risen by 9.6% to reach $8.50 by mid-morning on Monday.

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