German Internet cafes face an uncertain future
By staff
German Internet cafes face an uncertain future thanks to an administrative high court in Berlin which ruled that all Internet cafes offering games on their computers will in the future be required to hold a valid gaming license. Prior to the ruling, the German Office of Economic Affairs had been closing down Internet cafes where children and teenagers were playing computer games. The main reason for the raids was supposedly the protection of children against gambling and exposure to extremely violent games. The owners of the cafes had petitioned the German courts, claiming the computers were primarily used for surfing the Internet, and therefore no special gaming or gambling license should be needed. The judge ruled that a computer-as a multifunctional device-falls under the law that requires a gaming license because it can potentially be used as a gaming device.

By Larry Walters

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