German gambling regulator wins court case over TV competitions

The court ruled that there is no minimum stake or prize to be considered as gambling.
The court ruled that there is no minimum stake or prize to be considered as gambling.

The Munich Court has ruled that the broadcaster was offering gambling without a licence

Germany.- The new federal gambling operator, Gemeinsamen Glücksspielbehörde der Länder(GGL), has won a court case regarding its ruling against a television broadcaster that it said was offering gambling without a licence. The GGL had ruled that pay-to-play “competitions” run by the unnamed broadcaster were effectively unlicensed online games of chance 

Germany’s federal gambling legislation, which was amended by the Fourth Interstate Gambling Treaty (GlüNeuRStv), approved in July 2021, deems any cash-prize contest which requires payment for entry to be a form of gambling. Of significance, the Munich Court has now ruled that there is no minimum threshold for stakes, and that even a competition with a very small cost and small cash prize could still be considered gambling.

As such, the court agreed with the GGL’s view that the television broadcaster was offering unlicensed gambling. The GGL said the broadcaster had ceased to offer the illegal gambling product on its site by altering its product to comply with the law.

GGL board member Benjamin Schwanke said: “The approach taken by GGL is having an effect. The judicial confirmation of this ban is a further step in the fight against illegal gambling. Paid games defined as ‘raffles’ are to be classified as games of chance if the chance of winning depends on chance.”

Fellow board member Ronald Benter said: “We are assuming that this judgement will serve as an example and that other providers will take their illegal offers off the market at the GGL’s request.”

Last month, the GGL estimated that 95 per cent of online bets made in Germany in 2022 were made with whitelisted operators. Its figures contradict suggestions from the industry association Deutsche Sportwettenverband (DSWV) that blackmarket gambling is on the rise due to overly strict regulations in the legal market.

Germany’s new gambling regulator wants more cooperation from operators

The GGL has called for more cooperation from gambling operators in Germany to improve the country’s fledgling market. The regulator took full control of federal gaming regulation in January and has praised operators’ collaboration so far, but it said more could be done.

Speaking in a session at the Research Centre for Gaming at the University of Hohenheim, GGL CEO Ronald Benter said licensees could help the regulator tackle illegal gambling.

He said: “We are well on the way to creating an attractive legal market. The majority of permit applications have been approved. Nevertheless, we still see insufficient cooperation on the part of online gambling providers.”

See also: Jackpot50 approved to offer online gambling in Germany

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