Paul Bell, a director at 666Bet, was arrested this weekend amid a swirl of accusations of money laundering and fraud. Authorities from the HM Revenue & Customs and National Crime Agency picked up Bell at Heathrow Airport.
Besides Bell, six other 666Bet employees were arrested in connection with the case that’s left the Isle of Man-based operator dead in the water. Throughout the weekend, visitors to the site were greeted with a message saying that it was, “shut down for maintenance,” and would be back up in a few hours.
Details on the investigation that netted Bell are sparse, but it seems clear that 666Bet is not the only company under investigation in the matter. According to a report from The Independent, at least 25 other companies are also under the microscope as well.
For his part, Bell denies any wrongdoing and the company’s Head of Brand, Neil Andrews, told an Independent reporter that Bell’s legal woes have nothing to do with 666Bet saying:
I can categorically state the [police] investigation does not relate to 666Bet’s activities in the gamin [sic] world.” He added that the inquiry has “nothing to do with the day-to-day running of 666Bet.
Bell’s arrest is, surprisingly, not necessarily the worst thing that happened to 666Bet last week.
Earlier in the week, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) pulled the gaming license for 666Bet’s parent company, Metro Play Limited. Though officials were short on details, it’s believed that the suspension was due to something involving the collection of the UK’s Value Added Tax (VAT).
What kind of impact these investigations will have on the upstart bookmaker’s ambitious business plans remains to be seen. But, for now, it looks like they’re not going anywhere.