bwin.party digital entertainment PLC has come out and defended its actions on Wednesday after Belgian authorities questioned its co-CEO for two hours in an escalating dispute over the companies operating licences in the country.
Co-CEO Norbert Teufelberger has now left Belgium, after the authorities took advantage of his presence at a conference to summon him for questioning on Tuesday.
“The request to attend the interview arose from the Belgium Gambling Commission’s view that bwin.party was in breach of the country’s gambling legislation,” the company said in a statement.
“Bwin.party maintains the position that it is acting and has always acted in compliance with applicable laws,” it added, saying it planned further talks with the Belgian gambling authorities.
The case brings into sharp focus the risks faced by companies in the growing online gaming sector that operate in countries where regulations are either unclear or restrictive.
Bwin, the world’s largest listed online gaming group, is in dispute with Belgium over licences, and access to three of its websites has been blocked this year.
Bwin.party says the ban is costing it 700,000 euros per month in revenues and the rules in Belgium do not comply with European law.