Labor Ministry Warns Sportsbook Must Pay Up

November 10, 2006

Nearly three months after the online gambling company BetonSports closed its doors in Costa Rica, most of its former employees have not received the severance pay they were supposed to have received by today.

The Labor Ministry pushed back the multimillion-dollar company’s deadline to pay nearly 900 ex-employees more than $4 million in severance pay. The company laid off 1,300 workers in Costa Rica earlier this year after it came under pressure from U.S. authorities.

The ministry is now giving the company the chance to pay only 30% of the money it owes by today, and pay the rest by Dec. 15, the daily Al Día reported.

The defunct sportsbook, one of Costa Rica’s largest sports gambling call centers, closed its doors in August citing an order from a U.S. district court in Missouri to stop accepting bets from U.S. gamblers (TT, Aug. 18). The news followed the high-profile arrest July 16 of the company’s chief executive officer (CEO) David Carruthers in the Dallas, Texas, airport (TT, July 21). Carruthers and 10 other people were indicted by a U.S. federal court on 22 counts of racketeering, tax evasion and fraud. Carruthers and all but one other defendant pleaded not guilty.

The BetonSports call center was located in the Mall San Pedro in east San José and worked mostly with U.S. customers, processing phone calls and e-mails from that country.

Labor Ministry spokesman Giovanni Diaz said if employees aren’t paid, the ministry could eventually bring the case to labor court.

 

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