Wednesday November 14, 2012 : BWIN.PARTY RESPONDS TO BELGIAN DETENTION OF CEO (Update)
Unrepentant stance on EU law compliance
bwin.party digital entertainment plc has provided an update to the ongoing saga relating to the detention of its co-CEO Norbert Teufelberger in Belgium Tuesday.
The company confirmed that Teufelberger complied voluntarily to attend an interview with representatives of the Belgium Gambling Commission regarding its view that bwin.party is in breach of the country's gambling legalization.
"bwin.party maintains the position that it is acting and has always acted in compliance with applicable laws. Yesterday’s interview lasted for two hours, after which Mr Teufelberger, who had been chairing an industry conference about responsible gaming and regulation, left Belgium as originally planned. bwin.party intends to continue its on-going dialogue with the BGC."
Norbert Teufelberger and Jim Ryan, Co-CEOs, said: “We have been at the forefront of regulatory change in Europe for several years and we have licences in Gibraltar, Alderney, Denmark, France, Germany (Schleswig-Holstein), Italy and Spain. We continue to strive for a regulatory framework in European Member States that is compliant with EU law.”
In related news, an article written by Financial Times reporter Jonathan Guthrie, lambasted the European Union for its lack of an EU framework and lack of action concerning a single EU market for online gambling following Teufelberger’s detention by the Belgian authorities.
"Belgium’s protectionist model is one that other member states may copy if it persists unchallenged.
"Regulated gambling is a legal business in the EU. The EC has a duty to enforce a single market on member states. The moral objections of some national politicians are irrelevant. Ditto the desire of others to protect state-owned operators, including lotteries, from online private sector competitors.
"The EC has appeared quiescent, parking infringement cases for years on end. Last month it showed signs of waking up, proposing to reactivate nine cases against member states and to investigate 20 more. Good. Restricting the availability of regulated online wagering to EU citizens will only encourage the growth of unregulated alternatives. The genie of internet gambling is out of the bottle."