Unibet gambling boss released on bail

Unibet’s chief executive, Peter Nylander, has been released on bail of $200,000 following his arrest last week in Holland under a warrant issued by French authorities.

Nylander’s arrest related to Unibet’s activities in France, where are betting monopoly currently operates that appears to contravene European Union (EU) laws on open competition.

In a statement by Nylander, he said: “The fact that there are numerous legal proceedings ongoing against responsible operators such as Unibet doesn't make sense at a time when the French government has publicly referred to the opening of its online gaming market. Such proceedings serve only one purpose - the commercial interests of France's two State-owned monopolies.”

Nylander added that “France has everything to gain from the controlled opening of its market” and that the current monopoly operators (La Francaise des Jeux and PMU) “have an opportunity to be co-leaders together with private operators in the European online gaming market.”

The kind of warrant under which Nylander was arrested was introduced after the September 11th terrorist attacks to make it easier to extradite terrorists. As such, the nature of the arrest has even come under question by Sweden’s Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, who said: "This will naturally lead to a discussion about whether this is the kind of alleged crime that they [the European Arrest Warrants] were really intended for."

The European Union have also criticised the arrest.

"In our view, somebody might have been arrested who is innocent under (EU) law," said Oliver Drewes, a spokesman on EU internal market issues.

"We believe that the French sports betting legislation is not in line with (European) community law."

Editor, Jackpot.co.uk - 2007-11-01 10:59:17

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