German gambling regulator issues fine for ad breach

German gambling regulator issues fine for ad breach

The GGL said it has issued a five-figure fine against a German gaming licensee.

Germany.- The new German gambling regulator Gemeinsamen Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL) says it has issued a five-figure fine against a licensee for breaching advertising regulations. It says the operator had deliberately advertised on websites that also advertised illegal gambling, putting it in breach of interstate gambling legislation that came into force in July 2021.

The regulator hasn’t named the operator involved or revealed the exact amount of the fine. It’s the first fine that the GGL has issued for such an offence since it became fully operational as the new federal gambling regulator at the start of the year.

GGL CEO Ronald Benter said: “We consider the advertising regulations to be very good and justified. The GGL consistently monitors offers from legal providers. In the event of violations, we levy heavy fines.”

He warned that the GGL would not hesitate to withdraw an operator’s licence in the case of repeated violations.

GGL board member Benjamin Schwanke questioned why an operator would want to advertise on a site that advertises illegal gambling offerings. He said: “The legal online gambling providers cannot have any interest in advertising on sites that also advertise illegal gambling. This damages providers’ reputation.”

Last month, the Higher Administrative Court of Rhineland-Palatinate in Koblenz ruled that the GGL’s blocking order against lottery betting business Lottoland was illegal.

The regulator singled out Malta-based Lottoland for its first enforcement action because it saw it as particularly dangerous, arguing that its product could be confused with a licensed lottery. However, an IP provider objected to the order to block Lottoland’s sites.

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