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Saturday, March 31st, 2007

Internet Poker Room Founder Arrested

BY TOM SOMACH

The founder of Internet poker room Bet On Poker and several other Internet gambling sites has been arrested in the Dominican Republic, after being on the run for almost a year.

Federal authorities in the U.S. announced Friday that Gary S. Kaplan, best known as the founder of Internet sports betting site Bet On Sports, was apprehended by Dominican and American law enforcement officers without incident Wednesday at a hotel in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic.

Kaplan and 10 others were indicted in June of 2006 and charged by the U.S. Dept. of Justice with a variety of gambling-related offenses, in connection with the operation of several Internet gambling sites.

Kaplan, 49, of New York, who used the alias Greg Champion, founded Costa Rica-based Bet On Sports PLC, parent company of Internet sportsbook Bet On Sports (www.betonsports.com), Internet poker room Bet On Poker (www.betonpoker.com), Internet casino Bet On Games (www.betongames.com) and other Internet gambling sites.

In the indictments, Kaplan was charged with 20 felonies, including illegal gambling, racketeering, conspiracy, fraud, money laundering and tax evasion.

He had been a fugitive since the indictments.

After his arrest, Kaplan was transported to Puerto Rico, where he was arraigned before a U.S. magistrate, and is expected to be returned to the U.S. to face charges.

Kaplan’s online gambling sites are no longer in operation.

(E-mail Tom Somach at [email protected])

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