SNG Wins Online License Ruling

Administrative Court in Hanover confirms Spielbanken Niedersachsen GmbH’s license to operate an online casino

Hanover/Vienna, 22 August 2007 – The Administrative Court in Hanover has ruled that Spielbanken Niedersachsen GmbH (SNG) is entitled to operate an internet casino in the northwestern German state of Lower Saxony. The Court’s ruling confirmed SNG‘s interpretation of the law. The petition of the defendant, the State of Lower Saxony, that the appeal be dismissed, was rejected. This ruling cannot be appealed.

SNG initiated legal action against the State of Lower Saxony following the latter’s unexpected refusal to issue the license for SNG‘s fully developed internet gaming site in February 2007. The Administrative Court shared SNG‘s opinion that current applicable law did indeed encompass such a license. The presiding judge also stated that the German Federal Constitutional Court ruling of 28 March 2006, cited by the Finance Ministry of Lower Saxony as grounds for the refusal of the license, does not constitute a general ban on internet gaming.

SNG Managing Director Rainer Chrubassik announced that SNG would launch its online casino as soon as the ruling comes into force. Following the Court judgment and official written statement of the Finance Ministry, no further obstacles now stand in the way of the license being issued for the gaming platform.

„We are delighted that we will now be able to launch our internet gaming site,“ said Chrubassik. The SNG online casino incorporates unique and exemplary security measures to protect players and minors. It is impossible to achieve a total ban on internet gaming. The clock cannot be turned back on the reality of the internet. Only licensed internet gaming sites can meet regulatory channeling requirements and prevent players from turning to illegal, unregulated sites. We are fully committed to these requirements,“ concluded Chrubassik.

SNG was founded in 1995 as a subsidiary of the State of Lower Saxony, was privatized in 2005 and is now owned by Casinos Austria International Holding GmbH. SNG currently employs some 460 staff and operates 10 casinos across the State (in Bad Bentheim, Bad Harzburg, Bad Pyrmont, Bad Zwischenahn, Borkum, Hanover, Norderney, Osnabrück, Seevetal und Wolfsburg).

Casinos Austria International is a leading player in the international casino industry. As of August 2007, Casinos Austria International and its parent company, Casinos Austria AG, operated 76 casinos in 19 countries and on board 13 cruise ships. In 2006, the two companies together posted revenues (win, registered tips, entrance) of 1.26 billion euro (+7.6 ), welcomed 19 million guests (+2.7 ) and employed around 10,545 staff.