Friday January 15,2016 : BET365'S ROMANIAN TROUBLES CONTINUE (Update)
Online gambling group loses appeal against licence suspension but may fight on.
The strange case of the Romanian regulator's suspension of online gambling group Bet365's licence continued to mystify observers this week, when the Court of Appeal in Bucharest turned down Bet365's appeal against the suspension.
It's turning out to be an expensive affair; the UK gambling group has already had to cough up Euro 30 million in retrospective taxes imposed by the Romanians, and the legal costs are mounting.
Bet365 has repeatedly denied allegations that the suspension was imposed by regulator ONJN because the company had failed to halt operations between September and October last year whilst licenses were being processed, yet the regulator went ahead anyway, suspending the licence, scaring off players with questionable fines and threats of prosecution, and blacklisting the company.
Bet365 has used some strong language in characterising these actions as discriminatory and corrupt, legally unjustified and disgraceful, and is expected to launch a further appeal.
Media speculation that the regulator's action against Bet365, which had a dominant slice of the Romanian online gambling market, was urged by domestic competitors has yet to be substantiated, but there can be little doubt that the situation has been to the advantage of rivals.