Unibet CEO released on bail


Petter Nylander, Unibet's CEO, was released on bail after transferring from the Netherlands to France today.

Nylander was arrested last week in the Netherlands while at the airport to catch a flight home to the United Kingdom. He was held on a warrant issued in France because of Unibet's online gambling activities in France.

His detention is the result of proceedings filed in 2006 by Française des Jeux, the French lottery monopoly, and PMU, the horse betting monopoly, against Unibet. The suit alleges that Unibet breached French national laws from 1836 and 1891 protecting state-owned monopolies.

He was transferred to France today where he had a hearing with a judge and was released on €200,000 bail.

In a press release from Unibet, Nylander had this to say about the situation:

Unibet, the company that I run, has always abided by the law. We are transparent and we promote the concept of responsible gaming.

Our company is European; we are listed on the OMX Nordic Exchange, and audited on a regular basis. The fact that there are numerous legal proceedings ongoing against responsible operators such as Unibet doesn't make sense at a time when the French government has publicly referred to the opening of its online gaming market.

Such proceedings serve only one purpose - the commercial interests of France's two State-owned monopolies. There is an urgent need for reform of this market where these monopoly operators' actions are in complete disregard of EU Treaties and the interests of French players.

It is Unibet's strong belief that the French consumer should have a choice regarding online betting and gaming, with specific regulation.

France has everything to gain from the controlled opening of its market, and La Française des Jeux, the PMU and French casino operators alike have an opportunity to be co-leaders together with private operators in the European online gaming market.

Nylander will be available at a press briefing in London's Radisson Edwardian Hampshire Hotel Thursday at 11:30 a.m. (GMT).

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