Administrative court gives green light to online casinos

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Administrative court gives green light to online casinos

In March of this year, the Baden-Württemberg Administrative Court put proceedings on hold that were pending against a gaming provider due to the upcoming gaming regulation. For the same reason, another case against an online casino has now been discontinued. In addition, the present resolution stated that “both parties should concentrate on setting up a functioning system instead of fighting each other unnecessarily”. At the latest after federal states like Hamburg, Lower Saxony or Bremen had raised the flags against online casinos in the FRG, it became clear that not everyone in this country agrees with the German gambling reform. And this despite the fact that all federal states without exception have now agreed on a reform of gambling by 2021. But there also seem to be individual countries that either deliberately sabotage this decision or have not yet really understood the overall context. But now everything at the beginning:

Individual federal states are still taking targeted action against online casinos

It all started when the federal states – that is, their prime ministers – agreed that it was finally time to create new gaming regulation for Germany and to dissolve the existing gaming monopoly. There was extremely positive feedback from all federal states, as this paved the way for gambling regulation that is both safe and fair, transparent and EU-compliant. For this reason it is more than incomprehensible that federal states such as e.g. Lower Saxony, however, is targeting online casinos and taking action against them. This happens among other things by means of pressure that are used against global payment providers such as PayPal and, most recently, also against VISA, but also by court injunctions. In the FRG it is a criminal offense to pass money on to illegal gambling providers. The international financial service provider Klarna protests the loudest and is amazed: “… that the first federal states are already tolerating online casino games with a view to the upcoming revision of the State Treaty on Gambling in the coming year and thus they can hardly be regarded as fundamentally illegal” In addition, the company assumes that “… enforcement will be suspended due to the expected legal changes”. In addition, a spokesman says: “As an aside, it should only be noted that we cannot understand why the authority in Lower Saxony, contrary to other authorities, thwarted the market opening decided by all the prime ministers by trying to stop the services that are already legal in the next year are.”

The Darmstadt administrative court also has great problems to understand such a logic and has therefore ordered “… a suspension of the urgent proceedings against a gaming provider”. This approach is not new. As early as March of this year, the Baden-Württemberg administrative court decided on a so-called suspension between the Karlsruhe regional council and a provider of online gaming.

Tolerance does not provide for any categorization

Because there is no uniform regulation in Germany and also, despite the fact that the currently applicable State Treaty on Gaming has been declared “illegal”, even reputable online casinos in Germany are still in a kind of gray area. This is the reason why online providers have no choice but to invoke the EU freedom to provide services and European licenses. In this context, online casinos in Germany are practically tolerated. As I said: quasi! Because there is no categorization as legal or illegal. And although this is the case, online gaming providers are still being prosecuted in some federal states. The states of Saxony and Hesse are now demanding that this “chase” finally stop so that the energies can be bundled and “… effectively used for a new gambling regulation by July 2021”. This initiative by the two leading federal states is now also supported by the German Association for Telecommunications and Media (DVTM). In a press release, the association comments on the two decisions that came out of the court proceedings and assumes that “… the market for online casino and online poker will open on July 1, 2021”.

German standards are nothing new to online gambling providers

Parallel to the “… cessation of criminal prosecution” of online casinos and their operators, the CDU man and Hessian interior minister Peter Beuth conjures up a proposal that represents a kind of transitional agreement between the online providers and the FRG. The point here is that the gaming providers already adhere to the German standards that will come into force from next summer – even without the corresponding licensing, which is currently not possible. Obviously it has escaped the politics of the individual federal states that the safe and reputable online casinos have been adhering to it for many years. Because even with the licenses from Gibraltar or the Malta Gaming Authority from the small island state in the Mediterranean, both youth and player protection are in the foreground. Of course, these licenses are only granted if the providers also adhere to the Money Laundering Act, guarantee financial security for their customers’ money and subject to, or guarantee, further strict rules.

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