Two bwin.party Execs Acquitted of Gambling Charges in France

Two bwin.party Execs Acquitted of Gambling Charges in France

bwin.party exec Norbert Teufelberger and former co-CEO Manfred Bodner (r) have finally been acquitted of fees in France. (Image: SN / APA / HERBERT PFARRHO)

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The battle over whether bwin now referred to as bwin.party violated the rules of France’s online gambling industry has been fought for more than a decade now, with legal proceedings having begun nearly eight years ago. But finally, after it seemed as although the case might never be resolved, a court that is french come to the conclusion that two executives who were with bwin during the disputed time period are maybe not guilty of the crimes they’ve been accused of.

Bwin.party leader Norbert Teufelberger and former bwin co-CEO Manfred Bodner have actually both been acquitted of charges that they violated the legal gambling monopolies set up in France between 2003 and 2005. During the time, only two organizations La Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) and Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU) were offered a monopoly over the country’s gambling industry, with the two accusing bwin of violating their rights by offering online gaming products to citizens that are french.

Long Wait for Verdict

Teufelberger and Bodner were originally arrested back in September 2006 while at a press conference announcing a partnership between bwin and AS Monaco, a soccer club that is french. The pair was faced with illegally Internet that is offering gambling, illegally receiving wagers on displaying activities, and advertising illegally to French residents during the 2003-2005 period.

But over time, curiosity about the case did actually wane. After their arrest, there is virtually no movement into the situation until last July, when a public prosecutor finally set a hearing for September one which was fundamentally pushed back in to April 2014. By this right time, even FDJ and PMU had withdrawn their complaints, though French authorities were still searching to collect fines of €40,000 ($55,000) from each of the accused.

The european Court of Justice had generally allowed nations to restrict online gambling if it was done based on concerns over problem gambling or to battle other issues, such as money laundering during the time period in question. However, the European Commission later found that this don’t use in the event of France, as both FDJ and PMU advertised their solutions to French players suggesting the nation’s policy was intended for maintaining a monopoly, rather than protecting its citizens.

Interestingly, the situation didn’t seem to have any negative effect on the relationship between bwin and the French government. When France started issuing licenses to online gambling companies in 2010, bwin had been the first operator to receive one.

Shakeup on Tap for bwin.party

The small legal victory comes at a time if the current leadership of bwin.party is undergoing a shakeup. Three board users including Bodner, deputy president Rod Perry, and review committee chairman Helmut Kern have been removed after shareholder Jason Ader’s Spring Owl Asset Management published a report that is 37-page called for changes on the list of company’s leadership.

According to the report, the company has floundered under its present leadership.

‘[the present board] has overseen significant shareholder value destruction, approximately 60 percent decrease in share cost since the 2010 announcement associated with the merger of Bwin and PartyGaming because of failed execution, failed merger, and failed oversight,’ the report said.

While bwin.party leadership rejected most of these claims, incoming chairman Philip Yea has nevertheless agreed to earn some modifications, with three unnamed separate directors to take the positions of these leaving the boardroom.

Deutsche Bank Sells Nevada Cosmopolitan to Blackstone

The Blackstone Group bought The Cosmopolitan of nevada for $1.73 billion. (Image: Wikimedia Commons).

Ever them a good price since they foreclosed on The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas back in 2008, Deutsche Bank has been looking to unload the casino and hotel onto anyone willing to give. A very awkward fit after all, they’re a bank, not a casino operator, and that made the venue.

Significant casino organizations around the world expressed interest in potentially purchasing The Cosmopolitan, which seemed to have great potential, even though it had yet to create a profit. That meant it was somewhat surprising when Deutsche Bank announced that they had sold the casino to another group with extremely casino experience that is limited.

The lender announced an agreement to sell The Cosmopolitan towards the Blackstone Group for a cost of $1.73 billion in cash, marking the initial major gambling investment for Blackstone.

Blackstone Invests in Las Vegas Recovery

Having said that, it is not quite since far of a reach for the combined team as it may appear. Blackstone is a major investor in the world of genuine estate, in addition they already owned a small stake in Caesars Entertainment.

‘As an investor that is significant the hospitality sector Blackstone acknowledges the worth and potential in The Cosmopolitan and Las Vegas and looks forward to working to build regarding the success to date,’ said senior managing director Tyler Henritze in a statement.

Some analysts found the purchase to express a statement that is major the Las vegas, nevada Strip.

‘We…think this announcement speaks to a historically smart estate that is real building a statement on the space associated with the Las Vegas Strip data recovery,’ said JP Morgan gaming analyst Joe Greff. And 0ther analysts suggested this could raise interest and the price in future sales of Strip properties.

Deutsche Bank Removes Non-Core Asset

For Deutsche Bank the bank that is largest in Germany it had been a relief to unload a property that failed to remain in their general business plan.

‘The Bank is committed to reducing its non-core legacy positions in a capital manner that is efficient benefits investors,’ wrote Pius Sprenger, head of this Non-Core Operations device at Deutsche Bank.

Cosmopolitan Yet to show a Profit

For Blackstone to turn The Cosmopolitan into an investment that is good they’ll have to reverse a lengthy history of bad news for the venue. The massive undertaking to build the blissful luxury resort occurred just before the 2008 financial collapse, hurting the casino’s chances through the start.

After developer Bruce Eichner was forced to make over The Cosmopolitan to Deutsche Bank in January 2008, the bank picked up the costs in order to complete building. But the resort has never turned a profit since opening in December 2010. While the resort has proven massively popular as well as its clubs and restaurants tend to be full also, the casino has never brought in enough revenue to sustain the resort’s sky-high operating expenses.

While the situation appears to have been improving recently ( in line with a general recovery for Las Vegas casinos), The Cosmopolitan still lost $12 million in the 1st quarter of 2014. There have also been issues with the Las Vegas Culinary Union, that has protested the fact that employees have been working with no contract for two years.

Industry Professionals Say Offshore Hurts Regulated Online Gambling

Offshore gambling sites were a major topic at the East Coast Gaming Congress recently. (Image: Casino Enterprise Management)

When Nevada, brand New Jersey and Delaware launched online gambling in their states, many heralded it as the dawn of the American Internet gambling industry. Of course, this was not completely true: online casinos had held it’s place in the United States considering that the 1990s, and while the US government could have managed to get unlawful in order for them to run into the country, some offshore sites have continued to use in the us for this day. Now, some experts assert their existence is one regarding the factors that are key back regulated sites across the country.

Competition from overseas internet sites that are nevertheless illegally running in the country ended up being certainly one of several challenges cited for managed gambling sites at the East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City this week, where professionals stated that such internet sites remain the way that is primary Americans wager money online.

‘Internet gambling exists in all 50 states today,’ said David Rebuck, director of the newest Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. ‘It’s just not regulated.’

New Jersey Targets Promotion of Offshore Sites

That declaration comes on the heels of the letter sent by the brand new Jersey Office associated with the Attorney General last thirty days to five sites that had been marketing both regulated brand New Jersey web sites and unregulated options. In the letter, sent to sites such as for example RaketheRake.com, the owners of such internet sites were warned if they didn’t remove links to the overseas-based sites that they could face consequences.

‘This letter shall serve as official notice that your web site, by providing links to sites which may be providing unauthorized online gaming, may be promoting activity that is contrary to New Jersey and federal law,’ stated the letter, written by New Jersey Assistant Attorney General George N. Rover. ‘We request you immediately remove any online video gaming links that are not authorized under federal legislation or the law of any State. The State of New Jersey reserves the proper to pursue appropriate civil or criminal sanctions you neglect to just take the requested actions. against you in’

But despite such efforts, plenty of gamblers in the United States even yet in the three states where Internet that is regulated gaming select to try out at overseas sites. One reason may be that they are able to often be easier for players to make use of, particularly if it comes down to payment processing.

‘People who come online have 20 minutes in the den,’ stated Eamonn Toland, president of Paddy Power’s North American branch. ‘They don’t have three hours to work through payments. In the event that you can not capture them quickly, they’ll just go watch a movie or go do something else.’

Industry Still in Infancy

Other issues addressed included the undeniable fact that many perhaps a lot of people in brand New Jersey still don’t understand that Internet casinos are legal into the state. According to 888.com CEO Brian Mattingley, a survey conducted by his company found that just 10 % of state residents were conscious that online gambling was legal there.

But despite these challenges, most voices had been upbeat about the future of nj’s online gambling marketplace, criticizing anyone who has been dismissive of the returns that are early regulated web sites.

‘The individuals who say it is not doing sufficiently are like the two parents whom consider their five-month-old and say, ‘It does not speak any languages,” said California Gambling Control Commisssioner Richard Schuetz. ‘Let’s get our expectations in line.’

 
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