Feeds

Two more gambling chiefs arrested

Following firm's complaint that French law was anti-European

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The company whose chief executives were arrested in France last week had already filed a formal complaint to the European Commission claiming that France's gambling laws conflicted with the EC Treaty.

Bwin Interactive, the firm behind BetandWin, filed a formal complaint in March to the European Commission, company spokeswoman Karin Klein told OUT-LAW. The complaint claims that France's gambling monopoly breaches Article 49 of the EC Treaty which enshrines the freedom to provide cross border services.

"It asks the commission to force France to comply with EC law on the freedom to provide services," said Klein.

The company's joint chief executives Manfred Bodner and Norbert Teufelberger were arrested last week in France in connection with the company's gambling business. Sports gambling in France is a monopoly for La Francaise de Jeux, which is 72 per cent owned by the French state.

The joint-chief executives were released on Monday on €300,000 bail each after a hearing at a Nanterre court. "They are out and I think the entire case will take 12 months before we have a decision," said Klein.

The executives were visiting France to launch a sponsorship deal with AS Monaco when they were held for questioning.

Bwin hopes the French court's eventual verdict will be influenced by a ruling from Europe on cases already being processed, including that of Massimiliano Placanica. Placanica was an agent for Stanley International in Italy, where betting is tightly controlled by the state.

The court of Larino has referred the case to the European Court of Justice to judge whether or not the Italian legislation in his case is consistent with Article 49. The case was lodged in August 2004, and Bwin expects a decision before the French court gives its ruling.

"The ECJ will decide the Placanica before the Nanterre gives its judgment and we think the Nanterre judges will take the ECJ into account in making their decision," said Klein.

Bwin is the third company in recent weeks to have officials arrested. Two British had individuals involved in US arrests. Ex-BetonSport chief executive David Carruthers remains in the US awaiting trial in a Department of Justice case while Peter Dicks, of Sportingbet, has been allowed to return to the UK before returning to New York on 28 September to face charges being pressed by the state of Louisiana.

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.