Sportingbet downsizing unlikely after U.S. ban-paper

London (Reuters) – Online gambling firm Sportingbet is unlikely to downsize its operations in the wake of a looming U.S. ban on Internet gambling, its chief executive said in an interview with the Antigua Sun newspaper.

Sportingbet is yet to update the market on its future strategy after the U.S. Congress unexpectedly passed a bill at the start of this month to ban Web gaming.

The bill was passed to President George W. Bush to sign into law, which the industry sees as inevitable.

The newspaper on its Web site quoted Chief Executive Nigel Payne, who is in Antigua for talks with government officials, as saying that downsizing the company was „extremely unlikely“.

„We have not yet made a single employee redundant as a result of this action, and most of the alternatives that we’re looking at for our business would not involve any downsizing,“ he was quoted as saying on Monday.

„I can’t promise … but I can say that it is extremely unlikely that we would have to downsize our operations if the plans that we hope to put through do indeed get through,“ he added.

A Sportingbet spokesman declined to comment.