June 18, 2010 (CAP News Wire) – As one of the world’s biggest and best-known online betting brands, it’s no surprise that bwin should have a strong presence in the news around World Cup time. Indeed, the company is usually the preferred source of odds listings when sports media list upcoming games; given the World Cup’s media saturation, that means bwin is getting a lot more exposure (or free advertising, as company officials — and online betting affiliate marketers — may see it).
And with all its sporting sponsorships, it’s hard to watch a football, rugby, or soccer game on international TV without seeing the bwin logo prominently displayed.
Add to this the fact that bwin has just launched a new French site, and it indeed seems a fitting time, then, for a profile of bwin’s founder, Austrian entrepreneur Norbert Teufelberger. Leading British newspaper the Guardian recently looked at Teufelberger’s successful career with bwin (which has been doing business since 1997).
The article describes the entering of the French market as “the breakthrough Teufelberger had been working tirelessly towards for more than four years and marks a dramatic turnaround in Bwin’s relations with what were until recently some of Europe’s most protectionist regulators.” That’s because, just four years ago, Teufelberger was arrested in France for offering the very same services.
“It was a very unpleasant experience for us and it was completely surprising,” Teufelberger told the Guardian. “We had absolutely no clue this was coming. We heard they wanted to put us away for a year. It was just to put pressure on us.”
From an arrest to legalized online betting — that’s a lot of progress in just four years. “The timely launch of Bwin.fr – which pays an 8.8% betting tax to the French exchequer – is a major addition to Bwin’s market-leading internet presence across continental Europe, which is particularly strong in Germany and Italy. And with its strong emphasis on football, the Vienna-based Bwin is now odds-on favourite to emerge as the busiest bookmaker during the 2010 World Cup, eclipsing expected wagers at Ladbrokes or William Hill.”
Bwin, of course, offers online casino and Internet poker gaming as well as betting on more than 90 different sports, and has been the casino affiliate marketing industry’s go-to sports betting affiliate from the beginning. And, as the article explains, the company’s fearless history of lobbying and standing up to hostile government regulations has only strengthened the brand.
In the article, Teufelberger scoffs at competitors such as William Hill and Ladbrokes, and predicts even more growth by expanding to now-closed markets:
“We always said that, at the end of the day, we can only push them [EU member states] to allow us in, but then we have to play by the national rules … Wherever it is possible to go onshore, we will be good citizens. We want to work with governments; we do believe you cannot create a blue-chip consumer brand in a [legally] grey zone,” Teufelberger is quoted.