Austrian online sportsbook operator Bwin Interactive Entertainment has announced that it took a $3.22 million loss after a project to obtain a sportsbetting licence in Turkey failed.
The Vienna-based firm attempted to acquire the licence in mid-2007 but had not released details of any financial impact until a report by Austrian magazine Profil. The firm also revealed that it had filed charges against agents Gerda Binder, Friedrich Jarosch and Eric Voerman for allegedly committing fraud. Bwin stated that it had also filed charges in Turkey against Sheref Hokelekli and joined ex officio proceedings as an injured party in Liechtenstein, which had been instituted by the public prosecutor.
”It is one of Bwin’s tasks to obtain gaming licenses in order to sell its products in markets that are, as yet, not accessible due to lack of licenses,” read a statement issued by Bwin.
“In this connection, the payment of fees in order to obtain international gaming licenses is customary practice (both in advance and also in order to maintain existing licenses).
”As Bwin was no longer able to offer its products in Turkey due to changes in the law, Bwin sought to obtain a Turkish sportsbetting license. In so doing, Bwin received advice from Bachler and Partners, Mr Voerman was the person in charge.
“Subsequently, it turned out that the persons introduced by Mr Voerman were unreliable and, contrary to what had been agreed, failed to return advance payments. Bwin, therefore, filed criminal charges.
“The Regional Criminal Court of Vienna rejected the petition submitted by defendants Friedrich Jarosch and Gerda Binder seeking dismissal of the case. The Court deemed there to be sufficient cause to pursue the case based on the evidence available and the depositions already conducted. The competent courts in Liechtenstein have blocked the accounts of Cort International and have seized an amount equivalent to approximately $368,000 250,000.
“Bwin will continue to support the ongoing proceedings to the best of its ability and, if required, will also take action before civil courts.”