Real Madrid vs. Sports Betting Sites vs. 0 – 1

Rechtsanwalt Dr. Wulf Hambach

Hambach & Hambach Rechtsanwälte
Haimhauser Str. 1
D - 80802 München
Tel.: +49 89 389975-50
Fax: +49 89 389975-60
In our first two editions of Betting-Law-News this year (BLN 1 and BLN 2), we reported on the case of „Real Madrid vs. Bookmakers“. Recently, a Paris court decided in favour of the bookmakers: Sports Betting Sites vs. Real Madrid 1 – 0 (see Report on “Droit et Nouvelles Technologies” website).

The Real Madrid team and five of its world-class players (Real Madrid Club de Football,Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Raul Gonzalez Blanco, Ronaldo Nazario de Lima, LuisFilipe Madeira Caeiro) brought proceedings against various sports betting sites claimingviolation of their personal rights.

On the 8th of July 2005, the President of the Paris court decided that the sports betting sites did not use the names and photos for promotional purposes but rather in order to provide information concerning the bets on the sporting events. The French court decided that there was no breach of general personal rights. Regarding the general right of privacy of the individual (du droit á l’image) he observed that the use of the images of Zidane and Beckham as part of a reproduction of a photograph of a match, in which they took part, was not directly connected with the purpose of promoting their betting activity and these images served to represent the match upon which the bet was based.

Regarding the “right to name” (“droit au nom”), the court decided that the use of the names of five footballplayers was not for the advantage of promoting the bet, rather, it reminded potential betters of the names of the football players, in particular, the most famous ones,
who were listed to compete in the event.

The judge concluded that there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate that the use of the said photographs and the citing of the names of the 5 players, directly linked with their professional occupation, characterised a breach of their rights.

This is an important precedent for all similar cases pending against the bookmakers in Belgium, France and Germany. The personal rights of privacy and right to a name are very well protected in France and therefore it is now expected that the cases pending in other jurisdictions will also be decided in favour of the bookmakers.


In August (Dusseldorf), September (Frankfurt) and October (Munich) 2005, attorney at law Dr. Wulf Hambach is to conduct day-long seminars for Management Circle on the issue of gambling law. The event „Answers to crucial questions on betting and gambling business activities in the gambling sector: Mission (im)possible?“ is aimed at managers in the legal, marketing, online-marketing, advertisement, direct marketing,
e-commerce, sales, and promotion sectors as well as at members of boards and management bodies from the advertising, media and entertainment sectors as well as publishing. Advertising agencies and online agencies will also be addressed.

On the 8th of November 2005 attorney at law Dr. Wulf Hambach is to speak at the EIG in Nice (organised by ATE and the RiverCityGroup) on European and German gambling case law and to take part in an international podium discussion. Please do not hesitate to contact the Hambach & Hambach law firm for any further information.

Privatisation of state-controlled gambling operators In this years edition of the MECN Report, which was published very recently, Dr.Wulf Hambach of the Hambach & Hambach law firm in Germany examines the legal aspects in regard to the privatization of state-controlled gambling operators such as casinos, lotteries and sportsbetting operators