02/12/2012 : Codere is making few friends with its series of injunctions against potential competitors
The Spanish gambling group Codere appears to be intent on whittling down potential competition in its newly liberalised and regulated home market, launching a series of legal actions seeking injunctions against prominent online gambling operators.
Targets have included the Austrian publicly listed group Bwin, online poker giant Pokerstars and sports betting group Sportingbet.
Codere's take on the situation appears to be that companies that accessed the Spanish online market pre-liberalisation gained an unfair commercial advantage over the land-based Spanish group, which was obliged to eschew internet operations at the time.
Now that Codere is free to compete, it seems to be seeking some sort of redress in the form of requiring pre-liberalisation operators to start all over again, and even pay some sort of deferred taxation.
Codere's laywers have achieved some success, using a decision from a Madrid court to make Spanish ISPs block access to Sportingbet's Miapuesta website and reportedly managing to disrupt the company's financial transactions. Sportingbet, which is still fighting the action, had to cough up around Euro 2 million as a deposit to ease the injunction and continue the debate in court.
Pokerstars fared better when a court in Barcelona declined to play the Codere game, leaving the Spanish group with the option to appeal the decision if it wished.