Online Firms Ready to Fight
By Staff
Major online gambling companies are vowing to fight an accord due to come into affect this week in Germany that would ban private betting companies from operating in the country.

The legislation has been designed by 16 German states hoping to perpetuate monopolies on gambling with experts stating that the accord is simply a protectionist move to secure lucrative betting revenues for state companies.

The proposed legislation would ban private sports betting for two years, by which time a system is to be developed that would hand out concessions to private betting companies.

Firms operating in Germany have called on the legislation to be tossed out as it is a flagrant departure from European Union treaty obligations that require free movement of services.

According to a report in Die Welt newspaper quoting legal expert Wulf Hambach, companies already gearing up for litigation include Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG and Fluxx AG. The newspaper stated that Hambach represents 20 of the world's biggest betting companies through his law firm, Hambach And Hambach.

'The accord breaches European Union law because it excludes foreign betting companies with European Union licenses from the German market,' said Hambach.

Die Welt also quoted Michael Winkelmueller from the Redeker law firm as saying that he expects to see legal action by every one of the 3,000 betting companies active in Germany.

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