The Gluecksspiel (GGL), Germany’s federal gambling regulator, has won a court case regarding a ruling against an unnamed television broadcaster for promoting a gambling offering.
At the end of March, Munich’s Supreme Court decided that the GGL’s ruling that the broadcaster had been providing ‘online games of chance’ in the form of ‘competitions’ was lawful, as customers could win money via these pay-to-play contests.
Under German gambling law – updated back in July 2021 under the Fourth Interstate Gambling Treaty (GlüNeuRStv), which set up the GGL – any cash-prize contest which requires users to pay to enter is considered a form of gambling.
This sets a unique precedent, as the Munich Court determined that federal gambling laws do not ‘provide for a significant threshold for stakes’, meaning even competitions requiring less than ¢50 to enter could be considered gambling, and so the broadcaster was providing an unlicensed game of chance product.
Board Member Benjamin Schwanke said: “The approach taken by GGL is having an effect. With the judicial confirmation of the ban, a further step in the fight against illegal gambling has been taken.
“Paid games designated as “raffles” are to be classified as games of chance if the chance of winning depends on chance.”
The GGL has confirmed that the TV outlet in question has subsequently removed the ‘illegal gambling offer’ form its site, and changed the product in accordance with the law.
Clamping down on illegal gambling has been a key area of focus for the GGL since it was established back in January as the new unified regulator of the country’s betting sector.
Commenting at the time, Schwanke said that the GGL would ‘ensure that it is no longer worthwhile to gamble illegally’ with the support of “additional enforcement instruments” granted by German’s 16 federal states, which all voted in support of the GlüNeuRStv framework establishing the regulator.
Shortly before the court’s ruling last month, the regulator hit a major ‘milestone’ by issuing a five-digit fine against an unmanned operator. This was not for illegal product offerings, however, but for breaches of advertising rules.
On the recent Munich decision, Shwanke’s fellow GGL Board Member Ronald Benter remarked: “We are assuming that this judgement will have a role model effect and that other providers will take their illegal offers off the market at the request of the GGL.”