Online Gambling May Return To Germany
By Staff
In Germany, a court in Karlsruhe has ruled in favour of Austria’s Bwin Interactive Entertainment, overturning a previous judgment that would have forced the online gambling firm to stop accepting wagers from the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

According to the Stuttgarter Nachrichten daily newspaper, the ruling would appear to signal the return of online gambling to the German state by the Vienna-listed gambling group. It stated that Bwin has around two million customers in Germany with several hundred thousand in Baden-Wuerttemberg.

The court ruled that Bwin would be allowed to accept wagers from customers in Germany’s third largest state, as a regionally limited ban is technically not enforceable.

Proceedings are likely to continue, however, as a spokesman for Baden-Wuerttemberg stated that the government would appeal the decision to the administrative court in Mannheim, Germany.

This decision follows the European Gaming and Betting Association’s decision to file a formal complaint with the European Commission against the German accord banning online gambling throughout the nation’s 16 states. The Association represents most of the large European betting groups and stated that it is determined to ensure that European Union principles are respected.

'The official claim is consumer protection and we feel that claim is unjustified,' said Sigrid Ligne, Secretary General for the Association.

'Why focus on Internet gambling when traditional land-based offline gambling is being promoted in Germany? We urge the Commission now to fast-track our complaint and launch infringement proceedings against Germany.'

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