German online gambling ban met with derision

Germany has begun 2008 with a ban on online gambling in an attempt to protect its state-run gambling monopolies.

The law bans all web-based gambling or brokering of all wagering and betting games over the internet, whilst gambling advertising has been severely restricted.

There is no doubt that the ban will be met with fierce opposition. Tipp24 and Bwin, two of the biggest online gambling websites in Europe, will take any legal road necessary to fight the ban, with Tipp24 stating the new laws "as clearly contrary to law and will sue for its rights if necessary."

The European Commission is also expected to get involved as the law breaches EU laws. EU laws state there must be a freedom of products and services that promote free competition across its member countries. However, state-run gambling monopolies are allowed but only if they are in place for a specific purpose, such as reducing gambling addiction.

In the case of Germany, it appears as though this is not the case and if the European Commission thinks so too, then a big legal wrangle could ensue.

Charlie McCreevy, Internal Markets Commissioner for the European Commission, when referring to France’s stance on online gambling, said that “a member state cannot invoke the need to restrict its citizens’ access to betting services if at the same time it incites and encourages them to participate in state lotteries, games of chance or betting which benefits the State’s finances.”

Editor, - 2008-01-02 12:22:27

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