Sportingbet PLC was founded by Mark Blandford in 1998 as a licensed online portal for sports gaming and betting. Sportingbet PLC now owns or operates over 30 online gaming sites in England and around the world.
With the purchase of Paradise Poker in 2004 Sportingbet PLC made one of its largest and most successful acquisitions.
Paradise Poker is one of hundreds of online poker rooms which offer players the chance to play poker 24 hours a day, 7days a week. Players can play for real money or for play money against real players all over the world.
On many card and poker forums Paradise Poker is consistently ranked by players as one of the top 5 online poker sites.
All the positive publicity was shattered in September 2005, just before Paradise Poker held its Million Dollar final table.
Players around the world can play online for a change to win a spot at the million dollar final table. The people who made it to the top ten were flown to a secret location in the Bahamas to play for the grand prize of a million dollars.
Just before the final table began it was revealed to players and fans that Brian Carney who went by the screen name ZappAA, had faked his age and would be removed from the tournament. In fact, Brian Carney turned out to be under the legal age of 21 and as a result was too young to play.
The notion of a Paradise Poker scam immediately sent ripples through the online gaming community. Those advocates claiming online poker is rigged had a field day.
In the end Paradise Poker did the right thing and should be applauded for their efforts in handling the situation with utmost professionalism. There was no cause for alarm at the notion of a Paradise Poker scam and in fact Paradise Poker has remained in the top 5 online poker sites and is now planning the Paradise Poker Million Dollar Freeroll III.