Bwin temporarily stops Turkey operations

With the passage of a new law regarding online gambling in Turkey, Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG has decided to temporarily withdraw from that market.

According to a statement from Bwin, the new law prohibits online games of chance, but it also provides for the possibility of licensing the businesses in the future.

Reuters reported that Bwin is investigating the possibility of becoming licensed in Turkey in the future, but it is unclear when it could become possible.

The company generates approximately 6% of its gross gaming revenues in Turkey. Halting business in that nation could mean a €25-20 million drop in gross gaming revenues per year.

Bwin is mainly a sportsbooking company, but in March 2006, they acquired Ongame e-solutions, which focuses on online poker and operates PokerRoom.com.

The acquisition cost the company €500 million. Bwin later had to write off most of the value of its poker site after the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was signed into law in October 2006 in the United States.

This was just shortly after the company had some trouble in France in September 2006. The co-chief executives of Bwin, Manfred Bodner and Norbert Teufelberger, were arrested there.

The two are being accused of violating gaming laws that forbid online gaming and advertisements in France from companies other than the state-run gaming company Francaise des Jeux.

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