Bwin Online Gambling Execs Charged With Bribery

Published Saturday, February 27, 2016 -
Bwin Online Gambling Execs Charged With Bribery

The online gambling industry is facing another crisis with the recent revelation that an Austrian public prosecutor is charging eight individuals involved in the gambling world with a number of violations. Austrian media outlet Trend reported that on January 13th charges including corruption, money laundering and breach of trust were laid on executives that include Norbert Teufelberger and Manfred Bodner two of the former top tier executives of online gambling operator digital entertainment.

The men are facing bribery charges over a failed bid for a Turkish sports betting license back in 2007. When official channels negotiations failed Bwin hired a number of lobbyists, which also hired other lobbyists in Turkey, including Ali Ocak, who said that Bwin could acquire a license if the company gave him €2.25m. Bwin claims the money was  intended as a consulting fee paid to a firm called Cort International Establishment located in Lichtenstein. Bwin did eventually receive a licence to operate in Turkey, finding out not long after that license was bogus.

 The proceeding events saw Bwin launch legal proceedings against the fraudsters who had scammed the firm. During the subsequent investigation launched by Austrian authorities it was revealed that the €2.25m had really been a bribe leading to the Viennese prosecutor’s filing an indictment against the Bwin executives.

In a statement published in eGaming Review the Bwin company said the allegations and charges are “without merit” and that both Bodner and Teufelberger have counteracted by filing a motion to dismiss this case. The pair claimed they are “fully confident” that the court would see their side of the argument “in due course.”

Teufelberger remains a non-executive director of the newest incarnation of the enlarged GVC enterprise. After a long court battle lasting eight years Teufelberger and Bodner had a similar case they were embroiled in dismissed after they were arrested in Nice France in 2006 for illegally offering online gambling services without a proper license.




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