|The French authorities arrested two Austrian executives of an online betting company on Friday on charges of violating local gambling laws. |
Bwin co-chief executives Norbert Teufelberger and Manfred Bodner were detained just before they were due to give a press conference detailing sponsorship of Monaco football club.
The arrests came on the same day that the German state of Bavaria banned Bwin from taking bets on sports, the third German state to do so. Betting is a state monopoly in France and online gambling firms are banned from seeking customers there.
Their detention follows the arrest last week of Peter Dicks, then Sportingbet chairman, on a warrant issued by Louisiana state police, and the arrest in July of David Carruthers, then chief executive of BetonSports, on federal charges including alleged Wire Act violations. The two British bosses have since severed links with their respective employers.
Bwin notified the Austrian stock market, Wiener Börse, shortly after the arrests, and exchange officials deemed the development serious enough to stop trading in Bwin's stock. The shares were last listed at €25.65, or $32.43 - down 5 euro cents for the day.
With trading in Bwin stock suspended, other online gambling stocks slumped. In London, Sportingbet closed 20 pence lower at 172 pence, or $3.23, while BetOnSports remained at its Thursday close of 122.50 pence after being suspended.