Betting boss arrested in Netherlands

The Swedish CEO of betting company Unibet has been arrested in the Netherlands on orders of French authorities.

Betting boss arrested in Netherlands
Photo: Unibet

Petter Nylander was on his way home to Britain when he was arrested for breaking laws protecting France’s state gambling monopoly. He was detained by Dutch passport police on Monday evening as he was passing through a control at Amsterdam Schipol Airport.

Inga Lundberg, investor relations manager at Unibet, said Nylander was currently in a cell at the airport.

“Our chief counsel and a Dutch lawyer are there, but we currently do not know when he will be released,” she said.

Unibet has demanded Nylander’s immediate release. In a statement released on Tuesday morning, the company said it was “outraged by France’s total disregard of European Community law aiming to protect a domestic commercial gambling monopoly, which is being challenged by the European Commission.

“However disturbing French authorities’ methods are, for Unibet it is business as usual,” the company added.

Nylander was arrested under the controversial European Arrest Warrant, under which people accused of a crime in one country can be arrested in another country without a prima facie case having been established.

Unibet says the laws it is alleged to have broken are from the 19th century, and protect state companies from private competition. The company argues that France is ignoring European law. It says that a judgment from the European Court in March confirmed that European gaming monopolies breach EU law.

“We are upset of this unlawful act and harassment against our company and a citizen of Europe and we will take every action possible to bring this matter to justice. This criminalisation of a specific individual is a tactic that we have seen French authorities using before and something we will not tolerate,” the company said.

Unibet is listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, and it was initially most active on the Nordic market, although it now has operations across Europe. The company is headquartered in Malta and many functions are based in the UK.