Oct. 17, 2017
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bwin

known as Betandwin from its founding until 2006 – began life with 12 employees in 1997. The company launched its first online gambling site just one year after the company was founded, focusing on the growing sports betting market. One of the most important developments in the history of the company was the launch of its live bet product, developed in house, allowing players to place bet on sporting events while the actual event is taking place. The firm's initial public offering at the Austrian Stock Exchange took place in March 2000. In June 2001, betandwin acquired Simon Bold (Gibraltar), which is now known as Bwin International Ltd., essentially moving its operations to Gibraltar. The move was made to follow some of the company’s biggest rivals to the country. By December 2001, betandwin was ready to step into the online casinogaming market and did so by launching its first casino platform. Two years later, in July 2003, betandwin introduced and launched a soft games platform known as Balls of Fire. In November 2004, betandwin launched multiplayer poker. The group acquired betoto.com to expand its presence in the Greek market in June 2005, a company which offers a fixed-odds betting service to punters around the globe. December of the same year marked another major acquisition – Ongame e-Solutions AB was taken over. This acquisition was a move consistent with the group’s strategy to expand into the poker market, after the takeover Ongame e-Solutions changed its name to Bwin Games. Still in 2005 betandwin acquired global media rights outside of Germany to the German Football League. In August 2006 betandwin launched the new Bwin brand. This was done after it was found that the betandwin brand, which was described as “descriptive, high-grade and functional”, was not suited any more for the wide assortment of entertainment offerings covered by the company, including sports  betting, poker, soft games, and casino games. In 2007, Bwin began to offer live streaming of major sports events.

In September 2009, Bwin announced the acquisition of Italian poker operator Gioco Digitale, marking the company's entry into the Italian online gambling market.

In October 2012, Bwin announced the sale of its leading online poker network, Ongame, to Amaya Gaming for a deal of up to €25 million.

 

Bwin currently sponsor football giant Real Madrid. In October 2010 Bwin announced a sponsorship for the upcoming three football seasons in which they will be the title sponsor of the Portuguese League Cup - in future named "Bwin Cup".Italy's second tier Serie B has already been re-branded "Serie bwin" after a two-year sponsorship deal was signed in July 2010.

On the 16 August 2012, bwin announced it was entering into a digital partnership with Manchester United F.C to become the clubs official online gaming and betting partner.

In the past, many other top events in the international and local sports world were supported by the corporation. Bwin also lent its name to the Portuguese first football league (bwinLIGA), was sponsor of AC Milan and has been partner to famous clubs such as Juventus Turin and Werder Bremen.

Besides, Bwin cooperates with the International Basketball Association (FIBA) and has been sponsoring the European and World Basketball Championships since 2006. The second Basketball sponsorship is Euroleague Basketball. Bwin´s marketing and media rights agreement for Euroleague events runs until June 2014.

In the area of motorsport, the company is one of the main sponsors of the MotoGP series. In 2012, Bwin is the title sponsor of the races in Jerez and GP in Brno and official partner of the Misano,Mugello and Silverstone. In December 2011, bwin announced it would be extending their Moto GP sponsorships through to 2013.

In addition, Bwin organises numerous poker events both online and offline. One of the biggest regular online tournaments is the ChampionChip. Special poker tournaments like the Weekly Country Showdown or the Bwin Dailies offer a huge range of tournaments adjust to country specifics and buy-in levels. Periodically there are launched new types and variations of Sit & Go’s. Via several online qualifiers the Bwin user can qualify for offline events like the World Series of Poker (WSOP), the Aussie Millions and events on the World Poker Tour, with the results reported at the official Bwin Poker Blog.For “poker newbies” Bwin offers a special route, the Rookie Challenge. There a new poker player has the chance to climb up several stages for free to earn real money tickets.

The company have faced some opposition in Europe over sponsorship of sports, especially football. In 2006 Bremen banned its top football team, Sportverein Werder Bremen, from carrying the Bwin logo on its shirts.