New German gambling regulator to begin IP blocks

The new German regulator is expected to be fully operational by January 1.
The new German regulator is expected to be fully operational by January 1.

The German regulator says it will provide details of plans to start blocking IP addresses of unlicensed gambling sites next week.

Germany.- The new German gambling regulator Gemeinsamen Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL – The German Federal States’ Joint Gambling Authority) has announced that it will begin enforcement action against unlicensed gambling sites.

The regulator will not be fully up and running until January 1, but it will begin to block IP addresses and payments to unlicensed operators. It regulator says it will detail its process for enforcement action on July 8.

It said: “In addition to regular controls, the main focus when it comes to curbing illegal gambling is the implementation of IP blocking and payment blocking as enforcement instruments.”

It also suggested that it will act against affiliate sites that promote unlicensed sites.

Meanwhile, the regulator has named Nadja Wierzejewski as the head of the department head responsible for tackling illegal gambling and its promotion. Wierzejewski has been head of gaming supervision in the state of Rheinland-Pfalz since 2008.

She will be responsible for Germany’s national gaming supervision system, LUGAS. The system will compile data on players’ gambling cross all licensed operators so as to make it possible to enforce a deposit cap across all operators that a player gambles with.

The GGL, based in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, was created under the federal treaty on gambling, which established a federal regulated online gambling market from last July.

Bundestag representative Anne Poggemann is serving as the state’s first gambling minister and overseeing the creation of the regulator, whose headquarters in Halle in the south of Saxony Anhalt. Ronald Benter and Benjamin Schwanke will lead the regulator as joint chief executives. 

The GGL website launched in February and the regulator has said it will have 110 staff when fully formed. Until January 1, the executive of Hesse serve as the temporary body for German sports betting licences while Saxony-Anhalt is responsible for online casino and poker licences.

To date, only three operators have secured new German online casino licences. This week,  Tipwin and Mybet joined Mernov as the only operators licensed to offer online slots.

Complaints and whistle-blower system for online gambling

The regulator plans to devise an early detection system for gambling harm and to create a centralised complaints and whistleblowing system that the public will be able to use to report ‘irregularities’ with licensed gambling operators, advertising violations and suspicions of illegal gambling.

It aims to develop an automated process “to quickly initiate appropriate measures and to receive automated evaluation options about the frequency of complaints on specific topics or providers.”

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