|The online version of the Hamburg Spielbank must cease all business activities after a ruling by the German Constitutional Judge that online roulette in Hamburg is ‘not lawful’. |
The ruling comes after certain politicians, concerned about problem gambling, levelled complaints against the Hamburg Senate. They argued that it did not have the power to issue an online gambling licence. The complaint was upheld because current Hamburgian law does not specify 'Internet gambling' and, therefore, a 'visitor' has to be physically present in the casinos' premises.
However, all is not lost. The expectation is that the Hamburg Senate will draft policy to include Internet gambling explicitly into law. A new license can be issued once this is accomplished. The process should take six to nine months.
The software and all the online components of the Internet roulette game were developed by e-dict GmbH & Co.KG, an affiliate of Spielbank Hamburg Group, fully owned by Spielbank Hamburg Jahr & Achterfeld KG. e-dict will also be responsible for the launching of Spielbank Wiesbaden's Internet Casino in the German state of Hessen. According to sources close to the Hessen project, all legal conditions are in place.
Spielbank Hamburg is owned by managing shareholder Prof. Wilfried Achterfeld, along with John Jahr (from the family of the famous publishing company Gruner & Jahr) and Klaus Unge. The group has operated the prestigious land-based Spielbank in Hotel InterContinental since 1978.