German gambling ban upheld

A German court has announced that it has rejected a constitutional challenge to a ban on online sports gambling from an internet sports betting company. The company was not named in court papers.

The nameless company has quoted a March 1990 judgment in the state of Thuringia, going back to the days of East and West Germany, which permitted sports betting. However, a following ruling in 2004 banned internet betting with immediate effect.

Although the name of the company has been kept under wraps, news that shares in Austria’s fell 2.8 per cent perhaps offered some light on the identity, particularly after Bwin has been at odds with the German state officials recently.

Germany’s 16 states are currently in the process of drawing up a law to prevent internet gambling completely in an effort to protect the monopoly enjoyed by its state-run lotteries. The reasoning behind this decision seems to go against the desire of the European Union to open up the market, with Bwin claiming that if the law goes ahead their business model would become obsolete.

However, Bwin, who are currently the biggest bookmaker in Germany, received some slightly better news earlier this week as a Bavarian regional court suspended an order which attempted to ban Bwin from accepting bets from Bavarian residents.

"Bwin can continue to offer sporting bets in Bavaria and to accept bets from Bavarian customers," Bwin said in a statement.

The ruling, one of many pending court cases with German states, means that Bavaria cannot enforce a ban before the main court case is heard.

Editor, - 2006-12-22 12:36:21

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