Unibet director Petter Nylander, released from custody last week after a payment of bail of 200,000 euros, finds it unacceptable that the France government has ordered his arrest for violation of its monopoly on gambling. Because of Unibet targeting the French gambling market, the French companies Francaise des Jeux and PMU demanded his extradition.
Nylander, who was arrested at Schiphol Airport and is now obliged to keep himself available for questioning, says that the French companies wrongly invoked the nineteenth century laws. "We talk about laws from 1836 and 1891, well before the creation of the European Community and the introduction of the Internet." "We have already seen that more European monopolies have instead had to make way for free competition. That goes for the aviation industry, broadcasting and telecommunications.
This is the first time that monopolies contested so-called infringements of law by shutting competitors down. We have a modern gambling industry in Europe and major companies like Unibet should not be discriminated against." The European Commission has challenged the legality of the monopoly.
In the Netherlands Unibet is also under attack because the government considers online gambling as illegal. In the Netherlands people are only allowed to gamble at Holland Casino and with The Lotto.