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Grim future for online casino gambling in Germany

Heavy new restrictions may well be imposed on Germany’s online casino industry by the end of this week, including a complete ban on online casino betting, as part of the interstate agreement to protect the country’s state monopolies for lotteries and a variety of other betting forms.

The idea to put a halt to all forms of online casino gambling in Germany was first raised after the Federal Constitutional Court rejected previous online casino related rulings and set a ban upon all forms of web-based casino gambling, and also internet brokering of betting games. The Bloomberg’s news service explained that shortly after, anti online casino gambling laws came into question, with a surprising 16 state legislatures voting in approval of the idea in mid to late December of 2007. The ban on internet casino gambling may also include the blocking of such websites by internet service providers across Germany’s individual states and by banks for the transfer of money into an online casino, as well as betting from German territory at a foreign online casino.

Many prominent betting companies have openly opposed to the banning of online casino gambling in Germany, claiming that the move is a direct attack on the adopted system by the industry across the world. Further strengthening their claim is the intention to outlaw all forms of online casino gambling advertising in Germany in both the print and broadcasting media, defining advertising as a means to “directly invite, incite, or prompt” customers to gamble or play online casino games. The opposition of companies such as Bwin and Fluxx has included threats to sue for their deserved rights by mid 2008 if such an approach towards online casino gambling continues.

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.