Will Bwin.Party’s Perception as Rogue Operator Impact Nevada Licensing?

November 20, 2012
Will Bwin.Party’s Perception as Rogue Operator Impact Nevada Licensing?

Bwin.party is one of the numerous companies currently seeking a license in Nevada. Their application to the Nevada Gaming Commission is expected to be reviewed sometime next year as they look to become the first top five poker company to operate legally within the United States. However, recent events could have a huge impact on the NGC’s decision.

Co-CEO Detained for Continued Operations in Belgium

Norbert Teufelberger, the co-CEO of bwin.Party, was detained by Belgian authorities last week for continuing to service Belgian players despite the fact that the company has been blacklisted by the Belgian Gaming Commission.

Teufelberger was visiting in Belgium and was detained for questioning last Tuesday. According to the legal advisor for the BGC, “Norbert Teufelberger has made comments in the press they continue to operate in Belgium, and so we consider him to be guilty of operating illegally on Belgian soil. Therefore the Belgian police took him into custody today to ask him further questions.”

Bwin.party is considered to be one of the most aggressive illegal operators in Belgium. The BGC spokesman admitted that they are not seeking out to detain any CEO that happens to make a trip to Belgium. As he put it, “We won’t take the same action against other CEOs if their companies aren’t sending the message to everyone that they are doing something perfectly legal in Belgium and aren’t continuing to attract Belgian players.”

Bwin.Party Has Argentina License Revoked

The Provincial Institute of Lotteries and Casinos (IPLyC) in Misiones Argentina revoked bwin’s license over a breach of contract. Bwin’s online gaming license was issued in 2007, but the governing body told bwin in 2008 to confine their activities to Misiones as failure to do so would infringe on the Loteria Nacional’s (LNSE) sports betting operations.

Bwin continued to offer services outside of Misiones and even advertised their services in national media. Their decision to do so prompted the LNSE to take legal action and courts determined that bwin had not authority to operated outside the borders of Misiones.

Is Bwin a Rogue Operator and Will It Matter?

The question that the NGC will not have to decide next year is whether bwin has acted as a rogue operator as Argentina and Belgium have contended. Bwin choosing to offer services to countries where they are not licensed is similar to what PokerStars, Full Tilt, and UB did prior to Black Friday. They now have to determine whether this activity makes them unfit for a Nevada license.

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