bwin

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bwin Interactive Entertainment AG
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryGambling, Bookmaking
Founded1997
SuccessorBwin.Party Digital Entertainment
HeadquartersVienna, Austria
Key people
Manfred Bodner (co-CEO), Norbert Teufelberger (co-CEO), Hannes Androsch (Chairman of the supervisory board)
ProductsSports betting, online gambling
Revenue423.1 million (2009)[1]
€48.9 million (2009)[1]
€46.3 million (2009)[1]
Number of employees
1,570 (2009)[1]
ParentGVC Holdings
Websitewww.bwin.com Edit this at Wikidata

bwin Interactive Entertainment AG, formerly betandwin, is an Austrian online betting brand acquired by Entain PLC. The group operated under international and regional licences in countries like Gibraltar, the Amerindian reserve of Kahnawake (Canada), and Belize; and Germany, Italy, Mexico, Croatia, Austria, France,[2] and the United Kingdom in Europe. The Group offered sports betting, poker, casino games, soft and skill games with most revenue coming from poker and sports betting. bwin had over 20 million registered customers in more than 25 core markets. Competence centres were located in Vienna, Stockholm, and Gibraltar.[3]

The company provided services for its subsidiaries such as marketing, finance and administration, corporate communications, controlling and IT services. All operational activities were managed by licensed subsidiaries. It was listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange from March 2000 until the company's merger with PartyGaming plc in March 2011, forming Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment. That company was purchased by GVC Holdings in February 2016; GVC continues to use bwin as a brand.

History[edit]

bwin – known as betandwin from its founding until 2006 – began life with 12 employees in 1997. The company launched its first online gambling site just one year after the company was founded, focusing on the growing sports betting market. One of the most important developments in the history of the company was the launch of its live bet product, developed in house, allowing players to place bet on sporting events while the actual event is taking place. The firm's initial public offering at the Austrian Stock Exchange took place in March 2000. In June 2001, betandwin acquired Simon Bold (Gibraltar), which is now known as bwin International Ltd., essentially moving its operations to Gibraltar. The move was made to follow some of the company’s biggest rivals to the British Overseas Territory. By December 2001, betandwin was ready to step into the online casino gaming market and did so by launching its first casino platform. Two years later, in July 2003, betandwin introduced and launched a soft games platform known as Balls of Fire. In November 2004, betandwin launched multiplayer poker. The group acquired betoto.com to expand its presence in the Greek market in June 2005, a company which offers a fixed-odds betting service to punters around the globe. December of the same year marked another major acquisition – Ongame e-Solutions AB was taken over. This acquisition was a move consistent with the group’s strategy to expand into the poker market, after the takeover Ongame e-Solutions changed its name to bwin Games. Still in 2005 betandwin acquired global media rights outside of Germany to the Germany Football League. In August 2006 betandwin launched the new bwin brand. This was done after it was found that the betandwin brand, which was described as "descriptive, high-grade and functional", was not suited anymore for the wide assortment of entertainment offerings covered by the company, including sports betting, poker, soft games, and casino games. In 2007, bwin began to offer live streaming of major sports events.

In September 2009, bwin announced the acquisition of Italian poker operator Gioco Digitale, marking the company's entry into the Italian online gambling market.[4][5]

PartyGaming merger[edit]

On April 1, 2011, bwin and British gaming firm PartyGaming announced their merger. The new company bwin.party became the world's largest publicly traded online gaming firm, 48.4% owned by existing PartyGaming shareholders and 51.6% by bwin shareholders. The merged company was listed on the London Stock Exchange, with joint CEO's Norbert Teufelberger and Jim Ryan.[6] After a takeover of bwin.party by British GVC Group, the brand bwin continues to exist as customer brand in the brand portfolio.

Products[edit]

The company's subsidiaries and affiliated companies offer sports betting, poker, casino games and soft games, as well as audio and video streams on sporting events, such as the German Bundesliga. These are all provided via the Internet, and many are also available via other digital distribution channels, such as mobile phone.

Sports betting[edit]

Sports bets are the core business at bwin. Today, the sports betting line-up includes more than 90 different sports; the core area of customer interest is soccer. Other sports include all popular ball-related sports, US sports as well as all major winter sports and motorsports ranging from Formula 1 to MotoGP. "Exotic" sports such as Roller Hockey, Futsal and Darts are also included in the daily line-up. Not only sports are on offer in the betting line-up. Customers will find odds on a range of events outside the area of sports. These include bets on politics and entertainment such as the Oscars, Talent Shows, the Eurovision Song Contest and "Miss" events.[7]

Poker[edit]

The following types of games are offered at bwin Poker: Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo and Five-card draw. In terms of stakes, users can choose between Fixed Limit, Pot Limit or No Limit tables. A "play money" version of the games is also available for users to try out for free. bwin offers poker tournaments, both, Sit & Go and scheduled, and cash games (ring games). Sit & Go tournaments begin as soon as the table is completely occupied. Scheduled tournaments begin at a specified time and allow for higher numbers of participants and the highest prize pools. In cash games the players can join and leave whenever they want. bwin Poker can be played using the Mac OS X Poker Client, the Windows Poker Client, the Java Poker Client or the Mobile Poker Client. The Mac and Windows version offers an extensive selection of features such as statistics and a mini-table function. The Java client is platform independent as it is browser based. The mobile client allows customers to play cash games on their mobile phones.[8]

Casino games[edit]

bwin offers its customers more than 1000+ games, ranging from classics such as roulette or blackjack to slot machines and casino tournaments. The casino has a longstanding tradition at bwin: In 2001, it was introduced as a second product, in addition to sports betting.[9]

Soft games[edit]

bwin offers more than 60 games divided into the categories of Fortune Games, Skill Games, Mini Games and "ParaDice", as well as Backgammon. This is the product group with the biggest potential for innovation and expansion on the market.[10]

bwin Games AB[edit]

bwin Games AB — founded in 1999 and formerly known as Ongame e-solutions AB — became part of the bwin Group following its acquisition, in March 2006, by bwin Interactive Entertainment AG.

Within the bwin Group, bwin Games AB acts as the competence centre for poker and casino games, developing products via digital distribution channels for bwin proprietarily owned brands, such as PokerRoom.com, HoldemPoker.com, eCardroom.com, PokerGaming.com, Europoker.com, and the Ongame Network partners.

PokerRoom.com[edit]

PokerRoom.com was an online poker cardroom founded in 1999. Licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, PokerRoom offered both play and real money formats. Tournaments and ring games were available in both web-browser and download client platforms, with support for both Macintosh and Linux. PokerRoom was one of the first online poker sites to provide multi-language support, and catered to Danish, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, and Swedish speakers. These languages were accessed via "regional sites," many of them showing local sponsoring for the selected region.

Legal issues[edit]

PokerRoom also maintains a play money only site, PokerRoom.tv, that is advertised in Canada on the boards of National Hockey League rinks, as well as on U.S. television networks like ABC.

Awards[edit]

PokerRoom has won industry awards such as Poker Site of the Year from the UK Gambling Awards in 2006 and Top Poker Software from the Online Gambling Magazine Awards in 2005.

Shutdown[edit]

After 10 years of operation, bwin announced the closure of PokerRoom.com on April 14, 2009. Players with money still left in their accounts were encouraged to transfer their balance and play at bwin.com.[11] However, PokerRoom.com players with large "play money" accounts had to abandon those accounts when transferring to bwin.com.

Legal Status[edit]

The global legal framework for Internet gambling is a complicated mix of laws and regulations, bwin's situation varies therefore depending on the country concerned. For several years now, the United Kingdom and Italy have been examples of countries that have regulated their online gaming markets to the advantage of all stakeholders. Just recently, Italy extended its online licences to include poker tournaments, and countries like France, Spain and Denmark announced their intention of permitting private operators access to their markets under stringent conditions and controls. Other countries, on the other hand, are still pursuing a policy of maintaining a state monopoly of internet gaming, or even a complete ban.

On 15 September 2006, Norbert Teufelberger and Manfred Bodner were arrested[12] at a press conference in La Turbie, France, due to offenses against the French gambling laws. After an investigation the judge released them on the evening of September 18, 2006.

While bwin stopped taking bets from United States players in October 2006, due to the signing of the Safe Port Act.[13], the offerings became available again upon regulation of the markets. In the States where regulation is in place, the same product line as for bwin is available through BetMGM, the joint venture of bwin's parent company Entain PLC's with MGM Resorts International .

On 6 March 2007, the European Court of Justice struck down Italian national gambling restrictions in the Placanica case.[14]

The EFTA Court held hearings in January 2007 to decide on the admissibility of a state monopoly for betting and gaming according to European Law. The decision of the EFTA Court will be made on 14 March 2007.[citation needed]

bwin ended its operations in Russia in February 2021. An agreement was made with Parimatch enabling customers to transfer platforms and their funds.[15]

Sponsorship[edit]

bwin sponsored football giant Real Madrid from 2007 to 2013 and they were also a premium partner of FC Bayern Munich. In October 2010, bwin announced a sponsorship for the upcoming three football seasons in which they would be the title sponsor of the Portuguese League Cup (named the "bwin Cup").[16] Italy's second tier, Serie B, was sponsored by them after a two-year sponsorship deal was signed in July 2010 until 2012. Additionally, bwin cooperates with the International Basketball Association (FIBA) and has been sponsoring the European and World Basketball Championships since 2006. In the area of motorsport, the company is one of the main sponsors of the MotoGP series. In 2010, bwin became the title sponsor of the races in Jerez and Estoril and official partner of the GP in Brno, Misano, Mugello. In the past, many other top events in the international and local sports world were supported by the corporation. Bwin also lent its name to the Primeira Liga (bwinLIGA), sponsored Italian football club Milan from 2006 to 2010 and has also been a partner to famous clubs such as Juventus and Werder Bremen.[17]

In addition, bwin organized numerous poker events both online and offline. One of the biggest regular online tournaments was the ChampionChip. Special poker tournaments like the Weekly Country Showdown or the bwin Dailies offered a huge range of tournaments adjust to country specifics and buy-in levels. Periodically new types and variations of Sit & Go's were launched. Via several online qualifiers the bwin user could qualify for offline events like the World Series of Poker (WSOP), the Aussie Millions and events on the World Poker Tour. For "poker newbies", bwin offered a special route, the Rookie Challenge. There a new poker player had the chance to climb up several stages for free to earn real money tickets.

The company faced some opposition in Europe over sponsorship of sports, especially football. In 2006, Bremen banned its top football team, Sportverein Werder Bremen, from carrying the bwin logo on its shirts.[18] In November 2009, the city acted further by moving against sports stores which sold shirts from other teams (such as Milan and Real Madrid).[citation needed]

in 2017, bwin signed a three-year partnership with Italian football club Inter Milan becoming their first official betting partner.[19]

In 2019, bwin became Valencia CF's main global sponsor. The three year agreement was made official in July 2019.[20] As of 2020 the agreement is in jeopardy with the Spanish government informing all La Liga clubs that betting sponsors will be banned from the start of the 2021/22 season.[21]

in 2020, bwin announced a three year partnership with the Belgian Pro League becoming the official sports betting partner of Belgium's top tier football division.[22] The deal will also cover the Belgian First Division B and Belgian Super Cup. bwin are able to broadcast live coverage of matches to customers using both online and mobile platforms as part of the agreement.

In April 2021, bwin signed a five year partnership with Liga Portugal. As part of the deal the Primeira Liga, Portugal's top football division will be called Liga Portugal Bwin from July 2021 onward.[23]

In August 2021, bwin signed extended deals with German Bundesliga football clubs, Borussia Dortmund, Union Berlin and FC Köln as well as 2. Bundesliga clubs FC St. Pauli and Dynamo Dresden.[24] As part of the deal bwin will serve as the exclusive sports betting provider for each team. Each of the agreements will run from the 2021-22 season until the end of the 2023-24 season.

In September 2021, bwin signed a partnership with UEFA to become an Official Partner of the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Europa Conference League for the 2021-24 seasons.[25]

Responsible Gaming[edit]

A dedicated Corporate Social Responsibility department of the company was in charge of social responsibility. Protection of minors, protection against manipulation of bets as well as prevention of gaming addiction were key aspects of the bwin CSRphilosophy. bwin supported research in this field in a joint project with Harvard Medical School. bwin was co-founder of the EGBA (European Gaming and Betting Association), where it lobbied for fair competition within a regulated online gaming market. As founder and member of the ESSA (European Sports Security Association), bwin campaigned against manipulation and fraud in the fields of sports and betting.[26]

Awards[edit]

At the annual EGR Awards organized by eGaming Review magazine, bwin won the "Operator of the Year 2009" award.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2009" (PDF). bwin. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-04-08. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
  2. ^ Bwin, BetClic, Everest among first French licensees Archived September 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, egrmagazine.com, 8 June 2010, accessed 11 June 2010.
  3. ^ Google Finance: bwin Interactive Entertainment AG Archived December 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Bwin buys Gioco Digitale for push on new Italy market Archived September 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, egrmagazine.com, 14 September 2009, accessed 3 December 2009.
  5. ^ Bwin.com History aka Betandwin Archived May 6, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, accessed 7 April 2010.
  6. ^ "Gambling firms Partygaming and Bwin reveal merger plan". BBC News. 29 July 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  7. ^ Factsheet: bwin Sport Bets Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine accessed 9 April 2010
  8. ^ Factsheet: bwin Poker Archived May 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine accessed 9 April 2010
  9. ^ Factsheet: bwin Casino Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine accessed 9 April 2010
  10. ^ Factsheet: bwin Games Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine accessed 9 April 2010
  11. ^ Bwin Announces PokerRoom.com Shutdown Archived April 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, 4flush.com, 15 April 2009, accessed 20 April 2009.
  12. ^ Online gambling bosses arrested in France via the Guardian
  13. ^ bwin: US SAFE Port Act signed into law by President George W. Bush
  14. ^ EU Court Strikes Down Italian Gambling Restriction via Bloomberg
  15. ^ "Bwin transfers Russia player base to Parimatch after market exit". EGR. 16 February 2021. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  16. ^ Bwin seal sponsorship of Portuguese Liga Cup Archived May 14, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, accessed 8 November 2010.
  17. ^ Factsheet: bwin Sport Marketing Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, accessed 10 April 2010.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-09-22. Retrieved 2015-03-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Werder Bremen to Appeal Betting Firm Sponsor Ban in Court
  19. ^ "Inter Milan take a punt on Bwin sponsorship". SportsPro. 30 August 2017. Retrieved 28 June 2021.
  20. ^ "bwin becomes Valencia CF Main Global Partner". Valencia CF. 28 June 2019. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  21. ^ "Betting Sponsors to Be Banned in La Liga From 2021". 90min. 28 October 2020. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  22. ^ "Bwin nets sports betting partnership with Belgian Pro League". iGaming Business. 4 August 2020. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  23. ^ "Liga Portugal and Bwin establish a partnership agreement for the next 5 seasons". Liga Portugal. 16 April 2021. Retrieved 9 July 2021.
  24. ^ "Bwin scores extensions with German Bundesliga clubs". iGaming Business. 10 August 2021. Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  25. ^ "bwin becomes Official Partner of the UEFA Europa League and new UEFA Europa Conference League". UEFA. 7 September 2021. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  26. ^ Factsheet: bwin Corporate Social Responsibility Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, accessed 10 April 2010.
  27. ^ Bwin crowned EGR Operator of the Year 2009 Archived July 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, egrmagazine.com, 1 December 2009, accessed 3 December 2009.

External links[edit]