LONDON – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network — Trident Gaming (who own and operate Gamebookers.com for UK and European bettors and BetBug.com for American sports bettors) today announced that Gamebookers are “buying” basketball star Vladimir Petrovic for Greek League 1 basketball team Aris, and will pay his wages for the club.
“This purchase is the first of its kind anywhere in the world,” said Trident Gaming and Gamebookers CEO John O’Malia. “Never before has a sponsor actually bought a player for a club, but we hope to help Aris compete at the highest level. The fact that the sponsor in this case is an online bookmaker may be shocking to some people, but our players are keen sports fans and we owe it to them to support the growth of sport around the world.”
“Our club has traditionally collaborated with industry leaders,” said Mr. Damianidis, President and CEO of Aris Basketball Club. “As a company which operates throughout Europe and has a very strong presence in the Balkans, Gamebookers was a natural addition to our ‘family.’ The Gamebookers representatives visited our headquarters in Thessaloniki on several occasions, and it was clear from the first moment that we shared the same goal to reach the top and the same passion to overcome any obstacle. For this reason, we proceeded to this unique proposal. This is a sponsorship like no other, and the beginning of a partnership with much promise for the future”.
Petrovic, who previously played for Aris from 1999- 2001, was part of Italian team Siena Montepaschi last season. He re-joins Aris with a wealth of European basketball experience, having also played in Germany, Spain and his native Serbia and Montenegro.
The groundbreaking deal increases the value of the existing Gamebookers sponsorship of Aris for the 2005-2006 season, a sponsorship selected in part because of the rich heritage and an extraordinary fan base the club enjoys.
“We are confident that Petrovic will give Aris the edge that they need to reach the top of the Greek and European tables,” said O’Malia. “Such a fine player will benefit not only Aris but also the Gamebookers.com brand as we are a leading sponsor of the team. We want to continue to support European sport as much as we can and are eager to help other sports teams similarly to help them reach their full potential.”
Gamebookers.com (www.gamebookers.com) is an international betting group licensed in the UK, Austria and Antigua & Barbuda. Gamebookers is owned by Trident Gaming PLC. The group company has over 180,000 customers worldwide, handles over 20m bets per year and paid out over EUR 148m to its customers in 2004 alone. The Gamebookers family of betting websites represent a ‘one stop shop’ for bettors, covering a huge range of both fixed odds, live-betting, and P2P bets on every major sporting event combined with casino games and many unique content and entertainment features. Betting services are provided in 27 currencies and 8 languages – including English, French, German, Spanish, Turkish, Romanian, Greek and Russian.
BetBug (www.BetBug.com) is the world’s first true peer to peer sports betting network. Unlike centralized exchanges, BetBug allows individuals to connect directly to each other and place wagers on their favourite events. BetBug is a download application that sits on the user’s computer and was designed to offer Americans a legal and safe way to bet. BetBug is the only sports betting application that does not violate the US Wire Act. American citizens are asked to use www.BetBug.com rather than Gamebookers. BetBug is owned by Trident Gaming PLC, Isle of Man.