April 16, 2010

Bwin, Sportingbet, Unibet, 888 win French casino law suit

Bwin, Sportingbet, Unibet and 888 have won a lawsuit against them in the Paris courts by a group of top French casinos.

Barrière, Joagroupe, Tranchant and the Casinos de France trade union sued the four operators for “illegal competition” in February because the operators offered casino games such as slots, blackjack and roulette to French internet users.

The casinos alleged that offering the games is in contravention of current gaming legislation as well as in contravention of the egaming regulation set to come into effect in June after being approved by France’s National Assembly earlier this month, which prohibits licensed operators from offering online casino games to French players.

The casino groups asked for the four operators to be prevented from receiving licences for two years and for a symbolic payment of €1 in damages, plus €30,000 to cover their legal costs, and for the publication of the court’s judgement in the main French daily newspapers.

However the legal action has been dismissed by the court.

Unibet chief executive Petter Nylander: “We are pleased with this judgment. For the future we hope that the French regulations for online casinos can be addressed within the context of a constructive dialogue and considering the interests of all stakeholders, notably consumers.

“French consumers have a demand for an online casino product, and we believe that a regulatory framework should meet consumer needs. The recent French regulation of part of the online market is a first step in that direction”

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