State Presidents in Germany Meet to Discuss Online Gambling

The Court of Justice for the European Union officially ruled in February of 2016 that the laws in Germany concerning online gambling are too restrictive and should be considered for review. This ruling was the first step in the right direction that inspired officials and legislators to start thinking about sweeping changing in how the various governing bodies control online casinos and other betting sites in the region. Even more recently, the presidents from the 16 states that they represent gathered together to discuss updating gambling laws, as reported by Jocelyn Wood.

New efforts to transform the German landscape for online gambling were sparked by meetings between industry executives and policitians, as well as media representatives and experts in legal matters. The talks took place just recently at the conference held by the German Association of Internet Businesses. Discussion mainly focused on new guidelines that were proposed in October of 2015 that include removing the restrictions on foreign licensing, reviewing the tax amount on revenue from gaming, and allowing for the inclusion of virtually every casino game on the market.

Player security was another factor that contributed to discussion, as the new proposed laws would call for player advocacy above all else. This include separating deposits made by casino members from expenses related to operating the online casino. In April of 2011, three major betting sites were found to have used player deposits to fund their various operations, and the large community of gamers were unable to get back their payments as a result. Since the occurrence, many players have never been paid back by the companies and German officials are striving to ensure that this type of activity is made illegal and enforced in full.

The process to build a new environment for online gambling in Germany is destined to be long and drawn out. Reform that is desired by many will have many obstacles in the way before a complete overhaul can be finished. However, the court’s ruling on the laws in Germany means that the country could suffer from legal proceedings due to its failure to comply, and the impatient European Commission is likely to lead the charge.