The French Tennis Association has lost a legal case which sought to prevent online gambling groups such as Bwin, Ladbrokes and Betfair from taking bets on the Roland Garros French Open and Paris Masters 2008.
The gist of the claim was that the competition organisers had sole rights to the competiton and any betting on the event was "parasitic" and caused possible damage to the integrity of the events.
In three rulings issued this week in Belgium, the Liege first instance court rejected all allegations of the complainant, gthat the betting operators concerned do not violate the FFT's rights as the event organisers of Roland Garros and Paris Masters.
The judge, taking into consideration the corporate responsibility of the EU operators concerned and the procedures in place "preventing all anonymous bets, ensuring perfect traceability" concluded that the operators had behaved in a prudent and diligent manner.
The judge also considered that the "...simple mention of the name of a sports event is a necessary indication for the online betting activity" which therefore "...cannot be considered as an act of parasitism since its sole purpose is to let the player identify which sport event to place a bet on".
The Belgian judge ordered the French Tennis Federation to pay Euro 5,000 per case for the recovery of legal costs.