What Is UFA and How It Affects the Future of Online Sportsbooks?
Despite its illustrious and historical tinged name, the Berlin based UFA Video is a comparatively modern outfit, deeply plugged into Bertelsmann, a world largest media conglomerate. However, with a few swift turns of events, UFA has established itself as a credible authority in the field of film, particularly German and Italian films. As a consequence, UFA has become a go-to choice for both distributors and artists. With a roster of over 250 titles, UFA is arguably the best place to go to obtain a German title. The company is also home to a range of other German-related media properties, including the highly successful German TV series, Allemann and the popular Volltecast radio show. More recently, UFA has launched an independent movie label, whose catalogue features a number of cult independent films.
Like many of its European counterparts, UFA has been plagued by allegations of favoritism and nepotism, particularly in regards to the hiring of Bertelsmann. In particular, UFA boss Christof Koch had previously employed a close associate of his in the payroll of an acting agency, which subsequently allowed Koch to hire a string of actresses, despite the fact that neither of them had any acting experience. Such allegations have been vigorously denied by both Koch and Bertelsmann. Similarly, UFA’s association with Bertelsmann stemmed in part from the fact that the firm had been founded by former Nazis who later served time in the resistance.
As it turns out, the allegations of favoritism are unfounded. There is no clear evidence that UFA’s founders were involved in any cover-up or coordination of any wrongdoings during World War II. Moreover, despite the fact that Koch had been personally listed as an owner of UFA Sportsbooks, he left the organization in the mid nineties. Bertelsmann, meanwhile, is the sole director of UFA and a former SS officer.
Despite such discrepancies, however, there are still a number of people who claim that there is something to the charges. Perhaps the most prominent is Charles “Mask” Lewis Jr., who is currently acting as an advisor for one of the proposed sportsbooks. Lewis is also credited with having introduced the now infamous “locks” system into sportsbooks, which requires users to punch in a code number in order to access the books. This, critics claim, is an attempt by some companies to control the pricing of sportsbooks by ensuring that only their books are available at a fixed rate.
UFA’s downfall has also prompted legal action against the company. On May 3rd, Richard Gepshtein, a South African judge, ordered UFA to cease operation. According to Gepshtein, the charges brought against the company “are without foundation,” citing statements by former directors that they had no knowledge of wrongdoing on the part of UFA. UFA, however, has already ceased operations, and its attorneys are waiting for a favorable court ruling in order to appeal the ruling.
While many people will view UFA as a victim of greed by one of the online sportsbooks, the truth is that the charges levied against the company were unwarranted and unjust. According to reports, a number of South Africa’s leading sportsbooks have stopped accepting sportsbooks funded by UFA, and some have already filed for bankruptcy. For those who remain in the fold, there is still hope that the situation will turn around soon enough.