Hamburg Ministry Files Complaints Against Online Casinos

The Hamburg Ministry of the Interior and Sport recently filed complaints against online gambling operators bwin, Tipico and Bet3000. The Ministry is seeking prosecution against the operators for offering illegal products to local players.

The Ministry did not confirm the gambling operators to the public, but local media discovered that it was bwin, a brand of GVC Holdings as well as Tipico of Germany and Bet3000, a company licensed in Malta.

In early 2020, the leaders of the 16 states in Germany agreed to a permanent online gambling framework that would begin on July 1 of 2021. This framework would allow licensed online casino and poker gaming to take place. Temporary regulations listed in the Third State Treaty on Gambling came into effect earlier their year and sports betting licensing could be issued to domestic and international operators.

In 2019, the Council stated that German-facing providers of online casino and poker gaming needed to quit as the region prepares for the Treaty to be implemented. Some companies complied and others argued that the change violated the laws within the EU and continued to provide services. Those who kept offering services relied on licensing from Schleswig-Holstein, which is the only area that allows online casino gambling.

The three operators listed in the complaint do not feel they are operating illegally. GVC released a statement to iGaming Business that said the legal challenge by the Ministry has no merit or legal standing. They say that bwin is operating legally based on European laws and regulations. GVC reportedly feels that the charges will be dismissed after a review process is completed.

Tipico has not confirmed they are named in the complaint but did state that they believe the prohibition of online casino gaming in the Treaty is in violation of European Union laws.  

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