Bookmaker blasts German betting law

SHARES in the newly merged online betting group Bwin.party plunged yesterday, after it lashed out at the German government for its proposed gambling laws.

Trading in London as a united entity following the tie-up between Austrian bookmaker Bwin and online poker site PartyGaming since just last week, the group fell by almost 15 per cent yesterday.

The chief executive of the bookmaker Norbert Teufelberger hit out at the German government, saying reforms “fail to deliver a successful regulatory framework for online gaming because of an uncommercial fiscal regime”.

He said a plans for a tax on sports betting from next year at 16 per cent of turnover, as well as a ban on in-game wagers, would make it “impossible” for the firm to be competitive in the country.

He added: “We trust that these proposals will undergo the necessary corrections so that the new regulations will govern the entire German market in a coherent and consistent manner in line with EU law.”

Analyst at Daniel Stewart Michael Campbell said: “Nowhere in the market is there an operator that makes that sort of margin on their sports book.

“I remain hopeful that things will change. Hopefully we’ll see a sensible regime that will head in sensible direction in taxing online operations.”

Campbell added that he still viewed Bwin.party as an attractive stock, despite any impact the German regulatory regime could have.

“I think it’s pretty cheap, I think its still attractive even if you strip Germany out,” he said.