Germany has been resisting online gambling or a long time, but is now finally coming to grips with the fact that internet wagering is here to stay.
Bwin the online betting firm from Austria which is listed on the Austrian stock exchange has been locking horns with the German government in a legal battle that has gone on for far too long, six years in fact.
Most of Bwin’s revenue comes from poker and sports betting and Bwin has over 20 million registered customers in more than 25 core markets with centres located in Vienna Stockholm and Gibraltar.
In September 2004 the monopoly holder West German Lottery Company Westlotto took out an injunction against Bwin to prevent itfrom any further offerings of it’s products. In 2006 the Regional Court of Cologne ruled against Bwin, which was then upheld a year later, and on November 18th 2010 the court overturned the judgement after an appeal.
Co-CEO Norbert Teufelberger, commented on the victory by stating comment “We welcome the judgement by the German Federal Supreme Court, and are glad that we will have to spend less of our time in courtrooms in the future. Now we can concentrate on developing modern regulations for online gaming in Germany.” He added, “It is high time, and in the interests of all those involved, to prepare the way for the modern regulation of online gaming in Germany. We are optimistic that Germany will follow the example of other European states like Italy and France.”
The decision to overturn the prohibition of online gambling marks the beginning of the end for Germany’s monopoly on gambling, and also may open the restrictive market up to other online gambling firms in the country. Germany has been following the USA in it’s prohibition of the online gambling industry and it appears that tough stance may soon soften.