Bwin to Appeal Lower Saxony Ruling

22 September 2008

Bwin, the Vienna operator, today lost a bid to overturn a 2007 ban against foreign online gambling operators in the German state of Lower Saxony, but the company told IGamingNews the ruling can and will be appealed.

"This was merely the first instance," Kevin O'Neal, bwin press officer, said by telephone today. "It has no commercial bearing on Bwin and yes, we will appeal."

Bwin has been embroiled in court battles in Germany since the country's 16 states reinstated a complete ban of online bets on Jan. 1.

In December 2007, despite some hesitation from two states, all 16 German states voted to approve new online betting laws which preserved the country's monopoly on sports betting.

Lower Saxony was the last federal state to ratify the treaty, and Schleswig-Holstein held off until almost the end, vociferously opposing the ratification of the treaty because it believed the law violated European Union trade laws.

Mr. O'Neal also believes it is in violation of the laws.

"Today's verdict is contradictory to European law,'' he said. "This is why we are going to appeal this and are confident that European law will prevail in the end.''

Emily Swoboda is the senior staff writer at IGamingNews. She lives in St. Louis, Mo.