May 9, 2001 8:53 PM

Playboy Enterprises said it will not take bets from the United States when it launches its sports betting Web site.

The questionable legality of online betting in the U.S. was given as the reason.

The site,, will operate globally from a base in Gibraltar. It will accept wagers in 23 currencies and four languages ”” English, Chinese, Spanish and Italian ”” on soccer, rugby, boxing, tennis, motor racing and golf. Odds also will be offered on major U.S. events like the NBA playoffs, football, hockey and horse racing.

The company will play heavily on its reputation, greeting bettors at the site with a virtual Playboy bunny named "Deanna."

The site is powered by Ladbrokes eGaming Ltd., an arm of the famed London betting house.