SBC News GGL cleared to penalise affiliate advertising breaches

GGL cleared to penalise affiliate advertising breaches

A legal judgement by the Higher Administrative Court of Saxony-Anhalt has ruled that Gluecksspiel (GGL), the Federal Authority of German Gambling, can penalise licensed online gambling operators “who are advertised on affiliate websites featuring unlicensed businesses.”

The Court of Saxony had been ordered to provide a ruling on the precedent that defines the boundaries of online gambling advertising in Germany.

The decision follows the GGL’s recent action against a licensed operator, marking the first fine issued by the newly established regulator. The offending party was found to promote its services and products on a website that advertised illegal online gambling providers, which violates German advertising regulations.

The court hearing served to validate the GGL’s interpretation of the rules and its jurisdiction to issue fines and enforce advertising regulations among licensed gambling operators.

According to the GGL’s announcement, the court made a clear statement regarding the role of affiliates in advertising illegal gambling activities. 

“The Court determined that affiliates who link illegal games of chance to websites are advertising for illegal games of chance, which is incompatible with the goals of the State Treaty on Games of Chance,” it said.

The court also emphasised the necessity of the ban “in order not to give the impression that permitted gambling is of equal importance to illegal gambling.”

The ruling not only sets a high standard for advertising practices but also emphasises the importance of upholding the integrity of the State Treaty on Games of Chance.

Furthermore, the court also affirmed that gambling operators are obligated to inform their users about the ‘White List’ of licensed gaming operators. In addition to this, they need to caution users about the risks of excessive gambling and provide them with easy access to provider-independent counselling and therapy.

As part of the same ruling, the court was also called upon to decide on the legality of advertising free online casino games, online poker, and online slots. It upheld the ban on such advertisements, asserting that the prohibition is legally binding and will remain in force.

The GGL has backed the decision as the definitive judgement on the matter that has been resolved by the Court of Saxony-Anhalt.

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