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German Court Fines bwin Gibraltar €200,000

13th October 2009 8:16 am GMT

Unimpressed by the addition of notices on the company's website advising players in Germany of the prohibition on gambling, the Regional Court of Cologne has handed down a €200,000 fine to bwin International Ltd. Gibraltar for its continued presence in the market.

The court said in its ruling late last week that despite previous rulings, the company had done little to comply with the court's order to block access to its site as per the German State Treaty on Gaming, which prohibits most forms of online gambling.

Following an earlier ruling in which bwin was fined €120,000 for allowing German players to access its site, bwin posted a notice online advising players from the German states of Saxony, Baden-Wuerttemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia of the gaming prohibition.

In a ruling last Thursday, however, the Regional Court of Cologne said that bwin's actions were insufficient, citing continuing online marketing and the company's failure to employ IP blocking technology to control access to its site.

The court justified its fine of €200,000 by referring to the previous penalty "which appeared to have had little impact on the company", claiming that it had in fact tripled its product offering in the meantime.

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