12/30/11 : MIAPUESTA ORDERED TO CEASE ACTIVITY
Unfair competitive advantage to local operators
Sportingbet PLC's Spanish-facing websites miapuesta.com and miapuesta.es have been slapped with an order to cease all activity and suspend financial transactions as a precautionary measure by the Council of Ministers’ Madrid Mercantile Court 10 reports opergame.com.
The order was issued as a result of legal action initiated by Spanish gambling group Codere against several unlicensed online gambling and betting operators offering their services to Spanish residents.
The action is rooted in long-running legal action initially directed at Bwin and La Liga football club Real Madrid earlier this year, where Codere took exception to Bwin's marketing and advertising efforts while its own were limited by Spanish local authorities, creating what it termed as an unfair competitive advantage.
Sportingbet Plc recently announced its intention to launch GameAccount Network's certified gaming content for the Spanish regulated market via their sports betting and gaming portal currently located on Miapuesta.com and anticipated a move to an .es domain post licensing with players merged into the Spanish network within GameAccount's system to boost player liquidity.
Several complaints filed by Codere were dealt with in the December 15, 2011 court order including a ban on advertising campaigns, use or disclosure of personal data obtained online and a ban on mass or individualised e-mail communications.
Jose Antonio Martinez Sampedro, president and chief executive officer of Codere said: "Codere has been promoting the strictest compliance with the law in force in the gaming industry and commercial gambling. Currently several internet gambling operators have entered the market.
“These services are available to users located in Spanish territories and as stated by the Government and in recent responses from the European Commission, such activities are illegal as they are not allowed, come tax free, provide no guarantees for users and hurt legal Spanish operators in the market."
Presumably, Sportingbet's situation will be resolved on the award of a Spanish licence.