The Unibet’s CEO Petter Nylander was arrested on the 22nd of this month on French charges and has now been released to a hotel. He has agreed to stay in the Netherlands until he was transferred to France. He agreed to this after going to court on the 24th when his legal team stated they would not fight his extradition to France.
The arrest was made after Nylander did not appear in front of a judge that was investigating Unibet’s alleged breach of a state monopoly on online gambling. His arrest has sparked international controversy. His arrest was made in attempt to save the business of two French gambling monopoly operators. Both created in the 19th century, the Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) and the Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) make up half the yearly Euro 20 billion turnover in France betting. 60% of the monopoly’s earnings go to the French Treasury.
It is believed that on Monday Nylander will go to France and meet with the Judge who made the warrant. The French government is trying to come to an agreement with EU officials about how France’s monopoly can meet EU law. According to the Budget Ministry they said they regret the arrest and hope the two monopolys will drop the charges against Unibet.
The Times Online stated that many French residents are breaking French law and making bets online with outside companies. The French casino industry also wants to be able to entry online gaming. Unibet is operated in Britain and registered in Malta. A company spokesman has said that they are outraged by France’s disregard for EU law.
Reporters were told by Nylander that Unibet would not stop offering their services to France. “We are doing nothing illegal because we have a license for Britain,” he told Dutch newspapers. “According to the European rules, if you have a license for one member state, you are authorized to use it in the others.”