Eye on Europe - April 5

5 April 2006

Party Time for Lawyers -- -- The very first practical consequences of the German sports betting verdict of the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe has already popped up. The free state of Bayern (Bavaria) will obstruct all the advertising of private sports betting operators, and illegal betting shops will be closed. A Bundes Liga German soccer match to take place Monday between Werder Bremen and FC Bayern M√ľnchen will be an interested test case. Bremen recently became the shirt sponsor of BetandWin, which raises the question: Will the match be broadcast in Bayern? Can they stop it? Top league matched are broadcast throughout all of Germany. . . . Good times for lawyers are here to come.

World Cup Tickets -- -- Another development to watch in Germany is whether the German state operator, Oddset, will be stopped from selling Soccer World Cup tickets. Oddset, sponsor of the organizing committee of the World Cup Soccer, is "selling" entry tickets for the event via a type of lottery system. Oddset could distribute as many as 9,000 entry tickets. Above that, Oddset is one of the financers of the World Cup.

702 Percent Better -- -- U.K. football club West Ham United has started a partnership with e-Lottery. The new WHUFC Lottery is based on the unique Multi-Win Syndicate System, and the proceeds will be used to benefit the WHU Youth Academy as well as the fans who participate. The No. 9 the Premier League team is recognized worldwide by its colorful home tunic with claret and sky blue shirts, white shorts and white socks. e-Lottery's origins can be traced back to its days as UniStar Gaming Corporation (founded in 1993), which developed an Internet lottery for the U.S.-based National Indian Lottery. The lottery was developed and field tested technology assuring necessary security, age and border controls required to process lottery transactions. Management in 1996 invested over $30 million in the design, development and operation of Internet-based lottery systems. Edwin J. McGuinn was named CEO in 2000, and in that year, e-Lottery conducted a "Best of Breed" study of U.S. lottery Web sites defining the most desired and effective functionalities required. In the year of the new millennium e-Lottery provided sophisticated Internet-based marketing services for several lotteries, including the Idaho Lottery, Indiana's Hoosier Lottery, the Jamaica Lottery and the Maryland Lottery. The West Ham World Lotto was launched last week, and the online syndicate system that enables members to play the official U.K. National Lotto and Euro Millions lotteries has hugely improved odds. In a West Ham World Lotto syndicate, supporters from all over the world can play the U.K. National Lottery with a 702 percent greater chance of winning, and the Euro Millions lottery with an amazing 3,600 percent greater chance of winning, at least according to the organization's Web site.

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.