|Shares in Vienna-listed online gambling giant Bwin have fallen eight percent in response to news that the firm lost the first round of a challenge against the German online gambling ban.|
Bwin will not be able to operate in Germany following the decision from the Federal Court of Justice that rejected an appeal of an earlier case on procedural grounds.
The challenge stems from a 2004 case brought by WestDeutsche Lotterie in order to stop Bwin from offering or advertising sportsbetting, casino and lottery games in Germany. The Regional Court of Cologne ruled in favour of the plaintiff in 2006 with a subsequent ruling by the Higher Regional Court of Cologne in September of last year confirming the judgement.
However, Bwin lodged an appeal with the Federal Court of Justice against the judgement but WestDeutsche Lotterie instituted enforcement proceedings in November even though it could take up to 18 months for a final ruling. Bwin filed a motion to the Federal Court of Justice requesting a suspension of these proceedings until a final ruling was heard.
The Federal Court of Justice rejected Bwin’s motion on procedural grounds and WestDeutsche Lotterie may apply for further enforcement orders until a final ruling sometime in 2009.
Bwin stated that it is confident of ultimately triumphing in the case and, should the Federal Court of Justice decide in its favour, says it will reserve the right to claim for damages.