bwin Free to Advertise in Germany?

7 September 2007

Last week, Austria-based operator bwin received a lift when the administrative court in Stuttgart ruled that football club VfB Stuttgart (VfB) was within its legal right to don apparel branded with the bwin logo.

The ruling overturned an earlier decision handed down by the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg's administrative court, which prohibited (VfB) from doing so.

"Next week there will be the definitive verdict," Konrad Sveceny, bwin's head of investor relations, told IGN. "However, this is a welcome decision by the court to allow our partner, [VfB], to advertise bwin."

Sveceny said the decision highlighted the need for consistent regulations across the European Union, noting that Germany had been the subject of repeated criticism from Brussels.

Sveceny also said that bwin had significantly reduced its marketing budget in Germany--though in the meantime, the company has benefited from increased exposure in Spain via its sponsorship agreement with high-profile club Real Madrid (Real), which this summer added new six new transfers.

Recently, under newly-installed German head coach Bernd Schuster, Real held training sessions in Germany and played an exhibition match against Hanover 96.

Surprisingly, the club's bwin-branded apparel was allowed.

IGN enlisted the help of lawyer Claus Hambach of Hambach & Hambach to provide a brief synopsis of the case as well as an update of its current standing before the German courts.

Click here to view Hambach's synopsis of the case.

Rob van der Gaast has a background in sports journalism. He worked for over seven years as the head of sports for Dutch National Radio and has developed new concepts for the TV and the gambling industry. Now he operates from Istanbul as an independent gambling research analyst. He specializes in European gambling matters and in privatizations of gambling operators. Rob has contributed to IGN since Jul 09, 2001.