Bwin knocked by marketing costs

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Bwin sponsors Real Madrid in Spain

Austrian online gaming firm Bwin has reported a net loss for the second quarter, hit by marketing costs for the World Cup and its French launch.

Marketing expenses rose 31%. But the World Cup in South Africa did boost revenues, which were up 33.7%.

Bwin made a loss of 2.8m euros ($3.6m; £2.3m) in the three months to June. A year ago it made a 100,000-euro profit.

Bwin also said that its planned merger with Partygaming was on track to complete early next year.

Last month, Bwin and Partygaming revealed plans to merge, in a deal which would create the world's largest online gaming business.

Bwin started operations in France in June and said it had been affected by "intensive preparations and start-up costs".

Regarding the World Cup, it said: "Measured in terms of sports betting gross gaming revenues, Bwin reported almost the same results for the 2010 World Cup as for the last two major soccer events combined, the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008."

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