Source AP ©

Chief executive of Unibet Group PLC to be extradited to France

The extradition of chief executive of online gaming company Unibet Group PLC will not be opposed for he can face an investigation into alleged violation of French betting laws.

Petter Nylander was expected to be released later Wednesday and travel to France next Monday after his legal team told an extradition hearing at Amsterdam District Court they would not fight his transfer.

"We just want this circus to end as soon as possible," his Belgian lawyer Ewout Keuleers said outside court.

Nylander, who is Swedish, was detained Monday as he was checking in for a flight from the Netherlands to Britain. A French judge issued a European arrest warrant for him in June.

The arrest followed proceedings filed in 2006 by the French lottery monopoly Francaise des Jeux (FDJ) and horse betting monopoly PMU against Unibet, alleging breach of the French national laws dating back to 1836 and 1891, the company said.

Keuleers criticized the French handling of the case.

It is "disproportionate to try to enforce a criminal case against Mr. Nylander," he told reporters in Amsterdam.

The arrest comes as France is negotiating a relaxation of its domestic commercial gambling monopoly with the European Commission.

The FDJ and the PMU, trying to protect their monopoly, have launched judicial proceedings in France against several online gaming sites including Zeturf.com and Bwin.com. The EU asked France in June to change its gaming law to allow for competition.

Unibet's chief financial officer and deputy CEO Ragnar Hellenius is temporarily serving as chief executive, the London-based company said.

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