AC Milan fined over Bwin sponsor

European giants and Champions League semi-finalists, AC Milan, have been fined €100,000 by Bavarian authorities for wearing shirts baring the logo of the Austrian bookmaker, Bwin, during their Champions League quarter-final in Germany against Bayern Munich.

AC Milan previously ignored the warning from Bavarian Officials that they would face a fine if they wore their normal shirts, as under current laws only state-owned betting companies are allowed to advertise in Germany.

Nevertheless, the fine for AC Milan will barely scratch the surface as after their 2-0 win in Germany, they will receive €3,000,000 from UEFA for reaching the semi-finals, where they will face Manchester United.

Germany is more or less a closed market for remote gambling companies at present, with many aggrieved with the structure of its gaming industry. The only reason why Germany can employ such an aggressive and restrictive policy, and protect the monopoly enjoyed by its state-owned gaming operators, is because the European Commission deems that it has been put in place for a socially pro-active reason, such as restrict the rise in problem gamblers.

However, it is not the first time that Bwin have clashed with German authorities nor been involved with problems with football shirt sponsorship. Last year, chief executives Norbert Teufelberger and Manfred Bodner, were arrested in France at a press conference as they prepared to introduce their shirt-sponsorship of French football team, Monaco.

Editor, - 2007-04-17 11:31:43

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