Bwin in Advertising Row with Argentine Authorities

12 March 2008

According to the Argentine media, Bwin's Argentinean subsidiary, Bwin Argentina S.A. (BSA), may soon be ordered to close its online sports betting operation by the Court of First Instance in Buenos Aires.

At stake is whether BSA, which operates under provincial licensure from Misiones, nationally -- and therefore illegally -- advertised its services.

According to local reports the case against BSA is being handled by Public Prosecutor MartĂ­n LapadĂș, whose office, following the launch of BSA and subsequent advertising, received complaints from the National Lottery Commission and the Argentinean Football Association.

In a brief interview with IGN, Kevin O'Neal, a press officer with bwin and the group's former business development director in Argentina, called the situation "very fresh" and said the company is still "trying to get a clearer picture."

O'Neal explained that BSA's Misiones license is valid -- moreover, that its validity was corroborated by opinions gathered from legal experts, among them international firm Baker & McKenzie.

"Just as in other markets, like in Germany, a regional license is valid nationwide," he said. "With this license, and with the Baker & McKenzie opinion, we started operating."

O'Neal was unable to comment on the charges being brought against the company, but said BSA "is looking into the matter carefully and is hoping for a constructive exchange with the authorities."

BSA has operated under the Misiones license since September 2007.

Currently, BSA's Web site,, is not operational.

Chris Krafcik is the editor of IGamingNews. He lives in St. Louis, Mo.