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Germany Rules on Online Casino Gaming and Betting

The online casino and sports betting industry has been keeping a close watch on legal developments in Europe. Over the last year, high courts in Scandinavia and the Netherlands have issued rulings on a range of issues from advertising to taxation that affect the status of online casino operators. Last week it was Germany’s turn and the decision the Federal Constitutional Court in Munich has made on the future of online casino gaming and sports betting has been predictably controversial.

The case addressed the increasing number of private online casino firms that are currently competing with Oddset, a state-run betting enterprise. Private betting is prohibited under German law; however this does not deter thousands of German casino players from participating at international online casino and sports betting sites. Several court rulings have sought to curb the popularity of online casino sites in Germany. One measure is the new lack of tolerance on behalf of German authorities toward advertising. Betting agencies and gaming firms from outside Germany will directly contravene new laws if they attempt to market their products and services to German gaming fans.

The court also ruled that a greater awareness of underage gambling and gambling addiction is required. State betting firm Oddset has been told that it must target its market behaviour to “consistently fighting betting addiction and limiting the betting urge.” However, the German government is unable to regulate or have any authority over small, offshore online casino and betting providers, especially those in the Caribbean. The common consensus is that despite the court’s ruling, German casino players will continue to enjoy gaming at offshore online casino sites without repercussion.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.