Reports from Austria suggest that there are two former Bwin.party executives charged with bribery
According to EU gambling news, Norbert Teufelberger and Manfred Bodner are accused of improprieties relating to Bwin’s 2007 attempt to secure a sports betting license in Turkey. When negotiations stalled, it is alleged that a fee of €2.25m was paid to a Turkish lobbyist, Ali Ocak.
Allegedly, Ocak then transferred this fee to a Liechtenstein-based company entitled Cort International Establishment. Bwin did receive a license, but they soon discovered that this was counterfeit.
Bwin had previously taken legal action themselves
Initially, Bwin sought compensation from those who had duped them. The internet betting site claimed that the €2.25m was intended merely as a consultancy fee. However, Austrian authorities claim that the money was intended as a bribe.
The Bwin.party executives charged, Teufelberger and Bodner, have denied the charges, describing them in a statement as “without merit”. In the same statement, they detailed their confidence that courts would clear them in “due course”.
The Bwin.party executives charged have been arrested previously
In 2006, Teufelberger and Bodner were arrested in Nice for operating in France without a gaming license. They were eventually cleared after eight years. Teufelberger was arrested again in 2012 for a similar lack of local license: this time in Belgium. However, legal action did not proceed after he subsequently did acquire a license.
Teufelberger and Bodner were running Bwin at the time of its 2011 amalgamation with Party Gaming. Bodner has since left the organization, while Teufelberger remains as a non-executive director of Bwin.party.