Germany’s new lottery regulator, the Glucksspielbehorde has requested that internet service providers initiate their first block order, under its new regime. This is against Lottoland, a lotto betting company.
On 1 July the body assumed responsibility for enforcement of unlicensed gaming, before taking over all aspects of German regulation on 1 January 2023.
It revealed details about its plan to act last month. They promised to block payment methods and IP addresses to prevent unlicensed companies from accepting bets.
The regulator has now announced that it is blocking the websites of some operators. It specifically mentions Lottoland, a lottery betting company.
The Glucksspielbehorde stated that betting on lottery games in general could confuse players as to the type of product that they’re using. They also noted that gambling on lottery games is prohibited under the Fourth State Treaty on Gambling.
The regulator stated that “the network of companies operating under the name Lottoland has offered illegal gambling since years.” This offer is especially precarious, as players mistakenly believe that they’re entering a Lottoland lottery. This isn’t the case.
The regulator also noted, in terms of blocking payments, that Niedersachsen was able to do so before the Glucksspielbehorde came into power. Benjamin Schwanke, a board member said the hope was that the payment blocking would be more effective as the new entity will have greater power to put pressure on the payment providers.
Schwanke stated that “we are interested in cooperating with payment service providers. However, we also have the ability to initiate administrative procedures when the service provider fails to meet their obligations. We can enforce orders using effective tools.”
Ronald Benter, a member of the Glucksspielbehorde Board, pointed out, however, that regulators can report operators to the tax authorities and force them to pay taxes on customs they receive from Germany.
Reporting gambling providers to tax authorities responsible is one of most effective tools for fighting illegal internet gambling. Benter stated that the chances of getting a license in the future are almost non-existent if you have tax debts. If you owe tax in Germany you risk having your permits denied abroad. Licenses can be revoked even if they have been issued.
Only a few operators have been licensed for online sportsbooks and casinos, and even those who are are subject to strict regulations, including the EUR1 limit on slots. Operators must also pay tax of 5.3% on their slot turnover.
The licensed online industry has been faced with a high level of competition by businesses that do not have licenses.
There are only three licensed operators for online slot machines, Mernov, Tipwin, and Mybet, but no licenses to play online poker. However, authorities in Sachsen-Anhalt have said nine new licences will be issued soon.