bwin e.K.'s East German License Valid, Court Rules

13 December 2007

bwin's Germany-facing subsidiary, bwin e.K., can continue to operate in former East Germany with minor restrictions, according to a ruling handed down by a court in the German state of Saxony.

The court ruled that the license, issued days before the German reunification in 1990, covered arranging bets over the internet, which could affect the country's plans to introduce a proposed ban on Internet gambling come January.

"We welcome the decision because it confirm the license and makes clear that the planned Gambling Law can't be realized," a bwin e.K. spokesman told Reuters.

The court did rule however that the license was not valid in the western part of the country -- reportedly contradicting rulings of other courts in Western German states, which hold that the license is indeed valid.

Shares in Vienna-listed bwin AG were up 0.42 euros to 25.80 euros.

More on this to come.