Sportingbet Opposes Spanish Internet Gambling Injunction

Claims that in order to disrupt the market untrue information was presented to the Court

In its Tuesday address to the media Sportingbet plc protested against a Spanish injunction and noted that it intended to launch a judicial appeal in Spain.

The bitterness in the industry was generated by last year's legal activities of Spanish group Codere which, on the basis of unfair competition, sought a number of injunctions against foreign companies operating in the Spanish online betting and gaming industry.

The operators impacted by the legal actions believed that Codere's actual plan was to restrict the online industry prior to the granting of internet gambling licenses under new Spanish legislation.

Codere's actions launched in several regions were generally unsuccessful in getting the various courts to see things its way, but in the case of the Commercial Court in Madrid it had more support, and the case against Sportingbet has formed the basis for the British company's appeal.

Sportingbet said in a media statement that it was not notified of the application against it and was given no opportunity to defend it: "All of Codere's applications were rejected by various Spanish courts, with the exception of one made against Sportingbet in the Commercial Court in Madrid, where the court found against Sportingbet."

The statement also notes: "Sportingbet firmly believes that Codere's injunction application was based on erroneous information presented to the Court, and is a blatant attempt to disrupt the market in the run up to the issue of licenses. Sportingbet subsequently attended a hearing at the Court in Madrid on 16 February 2012 at which it defended its legally compliant position. In spite of this, the Court has granted the injunction which comes into immediate effect today, 27 March 2012."

The company has applied for a licence under the 2011 Spanish Gambling Laws, and following regular meetings with the Spanish Gaming Regulator, it is expected to be granted the licence on or before 25 May 2012.

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