Germany to ban online gambling
Germany is to join the United States in a ban of online gambling as all sixteen states have voted to approve the state gambling treaty, coming into effect from January 1, 2008.
The new law prohibits any form of internet-based gambling or brokering of games over the internet. There will be an order from the states for internet service providers to block Web sites of illegal betting operations and banks to stop money transfers to them. Illegal gaming, under the definition of the law, includes placing a bet from German territory over the Web with a company based outside Germany.
An appeal by many online gaming operators in the country is underway, as many believe this ban to be illegal.
“The action taken by the states in this case is another example of how politics interferes in the market economy in a biased manner under the guise of maintaining order,” said to Jens Schumann, Chairman and founder of Tipp24 AG. “Successful companies in the sphere of state lotteries are to be eliminated through the argument that this will protect the population from gambling addiction. Everyday you can see how seriously the state is really taking the issue by looking at betting outlets, casinos and amusement arcades, which continue to face no advertising restrictions.”
In addition, several prominent constitutional lawyers have said that this State Treaty on Gambling breaches the German constitution and European law. The European Union has also stepped in to call on Germany to reconsider the complete ban on online betting and to comply with European law on the matter.