Lowey Dannenberg reminds investors that they have until March 16, 2020 to seek to be appointed as the lead plaintiff in a securities class action against 500.com Ltd. (“500.com”) if they purchased the company’s American Depository Receipts (ADRs) (stock symbol: WBAI) from April 27, 2018 through December 31, 2019, inclusive (the “Class Period”).  This action is pending in the United States District Court of New Jersey.

500.com Ltd. is a Chinese-based provider of online gambling services, which is a highly regulated business.  The lawsuit results from the revelations on December 31, 2019 that executives and consultants of 500.com had been arrested and charged with engaging in a bribery scheme with Japanese officials in order to win a bid to operate a Japanese casino resort. The fallout from this disclosure was swift: the Chairman of the Board resigned, and the CEO was temporarily relieved of his duties while the company formed a Special Committee to investigate illegal money transfers made by the current and former consultants under arrest and potential  violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  Then, on January 14, 2020, Tsukasa Akimoto, the lawmaker spearheading the Japanese casino resort policy, was indicted on a bribery charge. Akimoto is suspected of receiving 2 million yen from 500.com Ltd., in addition to 3 million yen he had previously been charged with receiving from the company.

The lawsuit claims that defendants publicly misrepresented that 500.com was in compliance with the numerous laws that governed its business operations, while concealing they engaged in a criminal bribery scheme to obtain casino licenses.  Following the revelations on December 31, the market price of 500.com ADRs declined on January 2, 2020 by over 10 percent, causing investors in the ADRs to suffer tens of millions of dollars in losses.  Investors who purchased 500.com ADRs during the Class Period who sustained a financial loss may be eligible to apply to be lead plaintiff until March 16, 2020.  If you would like to join the litigation please contact Barbara Hart, Lowey Dannenberg, at 914-733-7227.