Ladbrokes Ceases Online Gambling Court Case

Published Monday, September 21, 2009 -

After a five year legal case in the courts of Europe, Ladbrokes has decided the effort is not worth continuing. Dropping it's argument with the Norwegian State Gambling monopoly comes after the Bwin case was resolved with the European Court of Justice giving Portugal the right to maintain it's state monopoly on gambling.

Ladbrokes is in court a lot with many of it's actions being won lately. Recently the company won it's case brought against them by Danish Games who accused Ladbrokes of breaching primary trademark and marketing laws in connection with Ladbrokes' "Danish game, English odds" TV advertising campaign last year.

Danska Spil claimed that Ladbrokes had used the Danska Spil trademark improperly and that only Danska Spil can use the word combination "Dansk" and "spil" for commercial use in advertising and marketing.

The Maritime and Commercial Court in Copenhagen, acquitted Ladbrokes and did not allow Danska Spil's request for monetary compensation. This means that Ladbrokes can continue to use the words Danska spil in its advertising, and the ruling confirms that the Danish monopoly has no exclusive rights to the use of these words. Ciaran O'Brien a Ladbrokes spokesperson said, "We will continue to highlight the disadvantages of monopolies in our sector and promote free and fair competition from regulated operators to the benefit of consumers."

Swedish Games also lost it's bid against Ladbrokes. Svenska Spel accused Ladbrokes in 2008 of breaching trademark laws in connection with the Ladbrokes advertising campaign "Swedish games with English odds". Claiming that Ladbrokes had misused the Svenska Spel trademark and that only the state monopoly can use the term "Swedish" and "games" for commercial use in advertising and marketing. The Market Court in Sweden ruled that Ladbrokes did not violate the trademark act of Sweden. Chief Executive of Ladbrokes, Christopher Bell, commented on this case, " This case means that Swedish monopolies cannot extend their power to monopolising language. We will continue to highlight the consumer benefits of a competitive market in betting and gaming in contrast to disproportionate state monopoly laws and actions that restrict competition and choice."

The action taken by Ladbrokes to withdraw from the Norwegian case doesn't mean they are not going to bat for the operators of online gambling in Europe, it just means they will gather their resources and continue to try to maintain a level playing field for all.

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