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German States Want to Block Online Gambling Payments

- October 6, 2014 By Oliver Young -

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German banks may block transactions to unlicensed online gambling sites

The German state of Lower Saxony has sent out letters of warning to online gambling operators to stop offering online casino games and gambling services to its residents or they will have their online gambling payments blocked and its executives arrested. Moreover, via the members of the Interstate Treaty on Gambling it has made some attempts to get banks to stop processing online gambling money payments for blacklisted online gambling operators.

The cease and deceit letters have been sent to unlicensed online gambling sites and the German state is also discussing how transactions to the unlicensed sites can be blocked. Banks are currently waiting for the outcome of these talks.

According to a spokesperson from the Association of German Banks, the banking supervisory regulators in Germany are obliged to support the control of the state regarding online gambling activates, reports Gambling Compliance.

Nothing is Legally Certain

The members of the Interstate Treaty on Gambling in Germany consider illegal all forms of online gambling except those under the 20 Sports Betting licenses. After a two year delay, the winning applicants had been announced, but a couple of days afterwards they were suspended by a court due to an ongoing legal challenge. This regulatory body is also challenged that it has breached the treaties of the European Union and, as a result, it is illegal. For example, the Treasury was challenged by the EGBA which submitted a formal complaint to the European Commission two years ago.

Regardless of the outcome and future results, the banking system in the state must operate under the laws and regulations set by the state on national level. Therefore, it is predicted that they will be more in favor to block transactions and payments to unlicensed online gambling websites.

However, even if banks agree to block transactions to gambling sites, it won’t be effective because they are not the most important parties in the transaction process, says Ingo Fiedler, an economist. Fiedler, who is studying gambling at the University of Hamburg, believes that the payment processors are the ones that know more about the nature of online transactions, not the banks.

Several years ago the German officials tried to get Internet service providers to block gambling sites. This proved to be unsuccessful in the counts according to Wulf Hambach, a gambling law attorney based in Munich. “I still don’t think that they will be successful either,” he added.

The Gambling Licenses of Schleswig-Holstein Safe for Now

In 2012, the state of Schleswig-Holstein issued 12 online gaming licenses to operators allowing them to offer online slots, roulette, blackjack and other gambling products to its residents. Currently, there are 23 licensed companies. The expiry date of the licenses is in 2018. In other words, the licensed operators will not be targeted by the Interstate Treaty members that are now comprised of all German states among which is Schleswig-Holstein.

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