Bwin hit out at gambling ban

Austrian online gambling operator Bwin have claimed that their business model would become worthless if a ruling by the European Court of Justice went against their interests.

The judgement, which is to rule whether EU member states can prevent foreign gambling firms from operating fully in their country, is set to be passed in the coming months. Last May, a recommendation by the Court’s Advocate General stated that if EU member states employed a protectionist policy, they would be breaking EU principles.

"In principle, the Advocate General's recommendation reassures us," Bwin Chief Executive Norbert Teufelberger told an Austrian newspaper.

"If the European Court of Justice didn't follow suit, the effect would be that national lawmakers can do as they want, and then you've got to say that a business model such as Bwin's wouldn't make sense anymore," Teufelberger added.

Bwin have first-hand experience of tough stances on online gambling firms. Earlier this year, Teufelberger and fellow chief executive Manfred Bodner, were arrested in France at a press conference as they prepared to introduce Bwin’s sponsorship of French football club Monaco. In France, gambling companies are not allowed to advertise unless they have a French gambling licence.

Editor, - 2006-12-13 11:25:10

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