bwin Football Shirt Ban Fails in Bremen9th November 2009 8:51 am GMT
An Administrative Court Judge in the German city of Bremen has ruled that the city's attempt to ban the sale of gaming sponsored football shirts for teams such as Real Madrid and AC Milan is unlawful.
The City of Bremen had obtained an order banning the Karstadt department store from selling the shirts, which the city authorities class as illegal gambling promotion because they bear the name of online gaming operator bwin. The department store was ordered to stop the sale of the shirts under penalty of €1,000 fine per shirt sold.
The Administrative Court however which heard the appeal by Karstadt ruled that the order was unlawful because bwin does not sponsor the department store but the football teams. The court said that the choice of logo on the football shirts was irrelevant to the department store and as such, it could not be considered as illegal gambling promotion by the store.
The court also found the order banning the sale of the shirts to be disproportionate.
According to city authorities, the department store sell more than 100 such shirts each week, however Karstadt argues that this figure is more like five shirts per week.
The city of Bremen, which takes a zero-tolerance approach to illegal gambling as defined by the State Treaty on Gaming, has vowed to appeal the decision to the Higher Administrative Court.