BWIN CHALLENGE TO GERMAN BAN HAS A GOOD CHANCE OF SUCCESS
Schleswig-Holstein law adviser says German bans won't stand the test of ECJ
Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG, probably Europe's biggest private online sports-gambling company, may win a legal fight that threatens Euro 118 million in annual revenues, or a third of its take, reports the Bloombergs business news service this week.
The service quotes Johannes Caspar, a law professor at Hamburg University and legal adviser to the Schleswig-Holstein state legislature, who says that Vienna-based Bwin may succeed with lawsuits challenging the January 2008 ban in Germany on Internet sports wagering.
Bwin argues the prohibition, approved in all 16 German states, violates European Union law.
"It won't stand the test at the European Court of Justice," Caspar said.
The EU's executive arm the European Commission started "infringement proceedings" against Germany on January 31 this year over the state laws, a process that may lead to an appearance before the European Court of Justice on claims that the ban flies in the face of EU requirements for the free movement of goods and services between EU member states.
The professor's views come on the heels of the decision earlier this week by Spielbanken Niedersachsen GmbH (SNG) the exclusive Lower Saxony state licensed and regulated casino operator, to enter online gambling using a Chartwell Technology technology package (see previous InfoPowa report)