German regulator fines unnamed operator for advertising violations

Euro fine
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The German regulator Gemeinsamen Glücksspielbehörde der Länder has imposed a five figure financial penalty on an unnamed licence holder for violating advertising regulations.

In the first such “severe fine” issued by the authority, the exact amount of which is also undisclosed, the GGL said that “a permitted gambling provider” did not comply with the advertising provisions of its permit.

Ronald Benter, CEO of the GGL, said: “We consider these advertising regulations to be very good and justified. GGL consistently monitors offers from legal providers. In the event of violations, we levy heavy fines. 

“The withdrawal of permission in the event of repeated violations of the provisions of the state treaty on gaming is a measure that we do not shy away from.”

This latest threat of imposing heavy sanctions echoes a statement made at the turn of the year, when the GGL warned all licensees that severe action would be taken if significant infractions were discovered.

The GGL said that the unnamed operator “deliberately advertised” its offer on websites that also featured promotions of illegal options, which is not permitted under the treaty.

GGL board member Benjamin Schwanke added: “ The legal online gambling providers cannot have any interest in advertising on sites that also advertise illegal gambling. This damages the reputation of the providers”.

The GGL took control of the supervision and approval of online gambling on behalf of all 16 federal states from January 1, 2023. It had previously held responsibility for combating illegal gambling from July 1, 2022.

Furthermore, Benter this week also issued a three month update since marking the official start of the GGL at an annual gaming symposium that was held at the University of Hohenheim.

In addition to detailing positivity thus far, he also echoed the aforementioned sentiments as well as calling for more industry co-operation.

“We are well on the way to creating an attractive legal market. The majority of permit applications have been approved,” Benter commented. 

“Nevertheless, we still see insufficient cooperation on the part of online gambling providers. This applies to both the payment of security deposits and defects in the individual games submitted in the field of virtual slot machines. 

“This delays the permitting process and prevents faster channelling from the illegal to the legal market. We pull together with the providers willing to legalise and together pursue the goal of creating a level playing field while complying with the protection of players and minors. But we would like to see more effort on the part of the providers here.”