31 May 2023

EGBA Announces European Safer Gambling Week 2023: 13-19 November

15 online gambling associations will participate to this year's European Safer Gambling Week 

Brussels, 31 May – The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) is pleased to announce the third edition of the European Safer Gambling Week is set to take place from 13 to 19 November 2023. The annual cross-border initiative promotes safer gambling in Europe and is coordinated by EGBA and its members.

This year’s edition (ESGW23) will be organised by a partnership of fifteen European online gambling associations and there will be a range of activities and events organised across Europe to raise awareness about safer gambling and to share the latest developments in safer gambling regulation and research.

"We’re delighted to announce the third edition of the European Safer Gambling Week. As an organisation, EGBA and its members are committed to promoting a strong culture of safer gambling every day and during the week itself you can expect to see a concerted effort across Europe to raise awareness about safer gambling. The initiative provides a fantastic opportunity for Europe’s gambling sector to come together to promote an issue of common importance: safer gambling." – Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, EGBA.

Save the date for ESGW23 and join us in promoting safer gambling in Europe. More details about the event will be announced in the coming months and if you would like to be kept informed about ESGW23 please sign up here.

03 February 2023

Blocking order for unauthorized gambling offers on the Internet against access intermediary unlawful

Convenience translation, provided by ARENDTS ANWÄLTE

Higher Administrative Court of Rhineland-Palatinate, Press Release No. 2/2023

There is no legal basis for the blocking of Internet pages of a foreign gambling provider ordered by the Joint Gambling Authority of the Federal States against an access provider. This was decided by the Higher Administrative Court of Rhineland-Palatinate (Oberverwaltungsgericht Rheinland-Pfalz) in Koblenz in summary proceedings.

The Joint Gambling Authority of the Federal States in Halle (Saale) is responsible for combating illegal gambling on the Internet and advertising for it across all federal states. By decision dated October 13, 2022, the authority ordered the applicant - a provider of telecommunications services domiciled in Rhineland-Palatinate - among other things to block certain Internet pages (domains) with gambling offers from two lottery companies domiciled in the Republic of Malta within the scope of its technical capabilities as an access intermediary, so that access to the Internet via the access points provided by the applicant in Germany was no longer possible. The applicant filed a complaint against this and at the same time sought provisional judicial protection. The Administrative Court of Koblenz rejected her application for interim relief. In response to the appeals lodged against this by the applicant and the other gambling providers, the Higher Administrative Court amended the decision of the Administrative Court and ordered the suspensive effect of the action against the contested blocking order to be suspended.

The blocking order issued to the applicant was clearly unlawful. It could not be based on the enabling provision in Section 9 (1) sentence 3 no. 5 of the Interstate Treaty on Gaming 2021 - GlüStV 2021 - which entered into force on July 1, 2021. According to this provision, the respondent as gambling supervisory authority may, after prior notification of unauthorized gambling offers, take measures to block these offers against responsible service providers within the meaning of sections 8 to 10 of the German Telemedia Act (Telemediengesetz - TMG), in particular access intermediaries and registrars, if measures against an organizer or intermediary of this gambling proved to be impracticable or not promising. However, these requirements were not met. The applicant was already not a responsible service provider within the meaning of Sections 8 to 10 of the German Telemedia Act (TMG), so that it was not necessary to decide whether the other requirements of the provision for intervention against the applicant were met. The court does not share the view of the respondent that the responsibility of the service providers pursuant to Section 9 (1) sentence 3 no. 5 GlüStV 2021 is determined by this provision itself, without reference to a responsibility pursuant to the German Telemedia Act. According to the provision in Section 8 (1) sentence 1 of the German Telemedia Act (TMG), which is relevant for the applicant as an access provider, service providers are not responsible for third-party information to which they provide access for use, unless they have initiated the transmission (No. 1), selected the addressee of the transmitted information (No. 2) and selected or modified the transmitted information (No. 3). The applicant fulfills these requirements for exclusion of liability. Neither did it initiate the transmission of the gambling content nor did it select it or the addressee. According to Section 8 (1) sentence 3 TMG, the liability privilege does not apply if the service provider intentionally cooperates with a user of its service in order to commit illegal acts. However, such a case is obviously excluded here.

The challenged blocking order can also not be based on the catch-all authorization of Section 9 (1) sentence 2 GlüStV 2021, according to which the authority responsible for all states or in the respective state can issue the necessary orders in individual cases. In this respect, the application of this general power to take action is precluded by the special statutory provision of Section 9 (1) sentence 3 no. 5 GlüStV 2021, which contains a conclusive provision for taking measures to block unauthorized gambling offers against service providers.

Decision dated January 31, 2023, file number: 6 B 11175/22.OVG


The applicant in this case is 1x1 AG, Montabaur.

16 January 2023

New Central German Gambling Authority calls to combat illegal gambling

The new Joint Gambling Authority of the Federal States (Gemeinsame Glücksspielbehörde der Länder - GGL) has taken over all regulatory tasks previously performed by individual federal states in a uniform procedure. After 1.5 years of development work, the newly created authority has become responsible for supervising and approving online gambling offers on behalf of all 16 federal states as of January 1, 2023, and has already been responsible for combating illegal gambling since July 1, 2022.

During the press conference on January 10 to mark the launch of the authority, the board members explained that all the prerequisites and structures have been created to bundle the necessary competencies and resources across the states in a single hand. Ronald Benter, board member of GGL, said: "We are well prepared and ready to work. With the GGL, Germany is getting a central supervisory and enforcement authority for Internet gambling for the first time." As of January 1, GGL employs 75 people, and the authority is expected to grow to 104 employees over the course of the year.

Ronald Benter explained where GGL stands in establishing a legal online gambling market, particularly for the new offerings that have been eligible for permission since 2021, such as virtual slot games, online poker, and sports and horse betting on the Internet. The licensing procedures have been completed to a large extent by the states responsible for them on a transitional basis, so that the basic prerequisite for channeling the natural gambling instinct into permitted gambling has been created and the GGL can now essentially concentrate on its supervisory tasks.

In the area of virtual slot games and online poker, almost all of the 78 applications received have been decided. However, only 25 providers for these two types of gambling are on the official whitelist, as the security payments are still outstanding for a number of applicants who have received positive decisions.

In the area of individual gaming licenses for virtual slot machines and online poker, there is still a long way to go. Of the nearly 3500 individual gaming permits applied for, just under 600 had been reviewed and decided upon as of year-end 2022. "We have to state that 100% of the submitted gaming permits are not eligible for a permit," said Ronald Benter. "Often it fails because of the simplest requirements, for example, if only English-language game instructions are available. Here we expect better coordination between providers and studios."

In the area of sports and horse betting, the applications received have also been mostly decided, but individual bets are still to be examined by the GGL. Benter: "Our goal for 2023 in this area is to complete all permit procedures, including the gaming and betting review, and thus create an attractive legal gambling market."

Review of combating illegal gambling

Benjamin Schwanke sums up: "With the establishment of the GGL and the bundling of resources, the federal states had hoped for more pressure and more success in combating the illegal gambling market. These effects can actually already be seen."

Since taking over the responsibility of combating illegal gambling on July 01, 2022, nearly 150 cases on illegal gambling and almost as many cases on advertising illegal gambling have been created. In the course of this, approximately 1,150 websites on illegal gambling were reviewed.

Numerous illicit offers as well as the advertising for them have been removed after GGL contacted them. GGL has already initiated more than 60 prohibition proceedings and filed more than 30 criminal charges. A large number of these were taken over and further processed by the Saxony-Anhalt State Administrative Office through the GGL on July 1, 2022.

In addition to the classic enforcement instruments, the GGL is also using payment blocking and network blocking for the first time. Schwanke commented, "We attach great importance to transparent communication with payment service providers and Internet providers. We are also seeing initial successes. A large proportion of payment service providers are withdrawing from business with unauthorized gambling providers. Deposits with illegal gambling providers are thus becoming increasingly difficult to impossible."

Initial positive developments can also be seen in the new instrument of network blocks included in the State Treaty on Gaming 2021. Based on the new legal basis, 6 proceedings have already been initiated against the largest Internet service providers. (See the GGL press release dated October 7, 2022).

The websites concerned have not yet been blocked, as the administrative acts of GGL are still being reviewed by the courts. In December 2022, however, two administrative courts already deemed the means of blocking the network permissible in summary proceedings. The provider concerned must now block access to the illegal offer. "This is a first milestone on the way to judicial confirmation of the network blocks," said Benjamin Schwanke. "The first successes in the area of enforcement and the instruments of payment blocking and network blocks show that we are on the right track with our approach. What is completely clear, however, is that there is still a very long way to go."

Goals for 2023

The GGL's focus as a supervisory authority is to consistently monitor licensed providers for all types of gambling on the Internet that are eligible for a permit. "We will revoke permits again if we find serious violations," says Ronald Benter. "Because our goal is a level playing field for all providers. We want to ensure that the business model of offering illegal or non-compliant gambling on the Internet is not profitable in the long term." "We will also take a consistent approach to enforcement: Any provider not on the whitelist will be picked up, no matter how big it is," Schwanke adds. In this regard, GGL supports the goal of establishing a focal prosecutor's office in Halle (Saale) to enable rapid enforcement against unauthorized gambling providers.

Another important topic for the next year will also be to create transparency for players about which player protection measures must be adhered to by providers, such as the panic button.

The further development of addiction prevention, particularly with regard to an agreement on early detection systems for gambling addiction, as well as market monitoring and the awarding of research contracts, are also goals for 2023.

20 August 2020

Standstill period in the notification procedure for the proposed German Interstate Treaty on Gambling 2021 extended to 18 September 2020

by Attorney-at-law Martin Arendts, M.B.L.-HSG 

In accordance with Directive (EU) 2015/1535, Germany notified the Interstate Treaty on the Re-regulation of Gambling in Germany (Interstate Treaty on Gambling 2021 - GlüStV 2021), which is to come into force on 1 July 2020,  in the draft approved by the German Conference of State Prime Minister. The European Commission is processing this notification, which it received on 18 May 2020 under the number 2020/304/D (Germany). The standstill period, which usually expires three months later, i.e. on 19 August 2020, has been extended by a month by a detailed statement submitted by the Member State Malta, and will now expire on 18 September 2020. Only then can the 16 German state parliaments adopt the draft.

28 January 2020

EGBA Welcomes Progress On Germany’s Gambling Regulations


The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) welcomes progress on Germany’s new draft state treaty for gambling regulation, which was provisionally agreed this past week by Germany’s regional state authorities. The new treaty, if agreed at the Minister-Presidents meeting on 5 March, would replace the existing second state treaty and come into force on July 1, 2021.

The objective of the new regulation is to regulate Germany’s gambling activity in an effective way and ensure gambling activity takes place within the legal, regulated gambling environment, particularly in the online sector. This will be a challenge given the very low channelling rates in the German gambling market. In 2017, the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) calculated that Germany had a channelling rate of only 1.8% (e.g. 1.8% of all gambling activity in Germany took place within the regulated/licensed environment).

EGBA welcomes the progress made and encourages the German authorities to ensure the new regulation will achieve the multiple objectives of consumer protection, state tax revenues and regulatory oversight of gambling. In this respect, EGBA believes that some of the proposals in the current draft treaty (re: live betting restrictions, limits on advertising and curbs on player account activity) would be detrimental and counterproductive to the intentions of the regulation and we urge the authorities to reconsider their approach.

This is a positive development towards bringing Germany’s gambling regulation into the 21st century. The challenge will be to deliver a new regulation which is fit for the digital age we live in, which provides a safer gambling environment for consumers and enables a well-regulated and well-channelled market. We look forward to providing formal comments to the proposals in due course and continuing a constructive dialogue with the German authorities.” – Maarten Haijer, Secretary General.

Press release of EGBA

02 January 2020

The 3rd Amendment to the German Interstate Treaty on Gambling came into force at the beginning of the year

by Attorney-at-Law Martin Arendts, ARENDTS ANWÄLTE

The 3rd Amendment to the German Interstate Treaty on Gambling (3. GlüÄndStV), which now provides for the awarding of sports betting licenses without numerical restrictions, entered into force on 1 January 2020 as planned. The ratification documents of all federal states have been deposited with the State Chancellery of the Chairman of the Prime Ministers Conference by the end of 2019. From 2 January 2010, the Regional Authority of Darmstadt (Regierungspräsidium Darmstadt) will process the approval applications for the organization of sports betting for the state of Hesse (and thus also for the other 15 German states). The concessions are to be awarded in groups, i.e. on several applicants at the same time. The first concessions are not expected to be awarded before the end of February, as only then will the gambling board meet. However, the licenses are only valid until the end of June 2021 (the expiry of the current Interstate Treaty on Gambling).

Link to the official tender document:

03 May 2019

Martin Arendts on the Third Amendment to the Interstate Treaty on Gambling

In the current issue of Casino & Gaming International (issue 37, 3 May 2018) Martin Arendts reports on the situation in Germany and gives his opinion on the proposed Third Amendment to the Interstate Treaty on Gambling (Dritter Glücksspieländerungsstaatsvertrag).

https://issuu.com/cgimagazine/docs/2019-2    (pages 33 et sq.)

18 August 2018

mybet Holding SE: Management Board files for insolvency due to imminent illiquidity

17-Aug-2018 / 11:42 CET/CEST

Disclosure of an inside information acc. to Article 17 MAR of the Regulation (EU) No 596/2014

The Management Board of mybet Holding SE (ISIN DE000A2LQ009, new shares: ISIN DE000A2LQ7F4, convertible bond 2015/2020: DE000A1X3GJ8 and 2017/2020: DE000A2G8472) today filed for insolvency at the local court of Charlottenburg due to imminent illiquidity. The group companies ANYBET GmbH and SWS GmbH are also affected by the application.

Information and Explanation of the Issuer to this News:

Reporting company:
mybet Holding SE, ISIN DE000A2LQ009, new shares: ISIN DE000A2LQ7F4, in the Prime Standard segment of the Frankfurt Securities Exchange

Reporting person:
Markus Peuler, member of the Management Board

11 April 2018

888 Holdings plc ('the Company'): Update regarding German Litigation

The Company has previously reported that a subsidiary of its group of companies (the 'Group') has been the subject of a ruling on appeal by the German Federal Administrative Court which upheld an order prohibiting the provision of online gaming services in the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

After consulting with legal counsel, the Group's subsidiary has filed a constitutional complaint with the German Federal Constitutional Court in which it has asserted its position that the ruling of the German Federal Administrative Court infringes its constitutional rights, as well as its rights under EU law (including the freedom to provide services), and hence should be reversed.

The Company will continue to closely monitor the legal and regulatory developments in Germany and their implications on the status and of its offerings in this market.

24 November 2017

Lottery monopoly unlawful: In the opinion of the Administrative Court of Munich, the monopoly violates EU law and constitutional law

For the first time, a German court has judged the lottery monopoly claimed by the German states to be unlawful. Thus, the billions in revenues for the 16 German states from the games of chance offered by them are clearly endangered.

The Administrative Court of Munich, in a judgment, reached by the law firm ARENDTS ANWÄLTE, concludes that the German lottery monopoly in its current form violates both the freedom to provide services guaranteed under EU law (Art. 56 et seq TFEU), as well as the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of choice.

In October 2010, the applicant approached the Government of Upper Palatinate, which was responsible for issuing gambling licenses for the organization of lotteries with not only low risk potential, and inquired about the possibility of licensing a number lottery in the Free State of Bavaria. The applicant was then given a "checklist for permission to operate public gambling". Based on the explanatory notes of the (unpublished) checklist, the applicant submitted a request for permission to hold a number lottery in the Free State of Bavaria. On the basis of the unclear information which the plaintiff received from the Government of Upper Palatinate in response to repeated inquiries about the conditions for obtaining a license, the plaintiff repeatedly amended the permit application. On the instructions of the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior, the Government of Upper Palatinate justified the refusal by stating that the plaintiff, in the opinion of the authorities, did not meet the requirements of material permission (without mentioning the monopoly).

The plaintiff brought an action before the Administrative Court of Munich against the refusal by the Government of the Upper Palatinate after almost one and a half years of administrative proceedings in 2012. Remarkably, the Government of the Upper Palatinate only at the first oral hearing, and only after repeated inquiries from the Chairwoman Judge, argued with the applicability of the monopoly regulations, which were, according to the Government, compliant with German constitutional law and European Union law.

The Administrative Court of Munich disagreed in its judgment of 25 July 2017. According to the recently served reasoning of the court, the lottery monopoly enshrined in section 10 (2) and (6) of the German Interstate Treaty on Gaming (Glücksspielstaatsvertrag - GlüStV) is unlawful because of the advertising practice of the state gambling operators.

The court relies on several points. For example, the Advertising Guidelines of the German States, which concretizes section 5 (1) to (3) GlüStV with regard to permitted advertising, do not strictly consider the criteria elaborated by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and by the Federal Administrative Court, which must be observed in order to justify a gambling monopoly. The Administrative Court of Munich points out in this regard that section 3 (3) sentence 4 of the Advertising Guidelines explicitly allows image advertising contrary to the requirements of the Federal Administrative Court. Furthermore, according section 5 no. 1 sentence 2 and 3 of the Advertising Directive, gambling can be advertised attractively and the charitable nature of lotteries can be emphasized.

Also, the advertising practice does not meet the requirements of the relevant case law. The Administrative Court of Munich justified this on the basis of numerous advertising examples of the state gambling operators, which were submitted by the applicant in the administrative court procedure. For the systematically operated inadmissible advertising practice of the state gambling operators in the area of ​​number lotteries, the Administrative Courtrefers to the improper advertising with specifically advertised high jackpot sums in radio and television spots. In addition, unlawful jackpot advertising can be found in newsletters and in customer magazin es of the state gambling operators, in social networks, in banner advertising on news sites on the Internet and on the Internet start pages of the state gambling operators.

According to the administrative court, the jackpot advertising of the state gambling operators stimulates the wishes of the citizens for winning money and so far stimulates undecided persons to play along. Often, the promised high profit with a future better life without the compulsion to earn a living by work, were linked to gambling. Thus, with the jackpot advertising not only existing gambling passions were addressed in order to direct them into order, but first time game incentives were created for non-game enthusiasts or a need for gambling in already interested gamblers was increased. In addition, in the opinion of the court, the state gambling operators pursued inadmissible image and sympathy advertising.

Furthermore, the statements made by the state lottery companies about millionaires had an inadmissible incentive to gambling participation, especially if they were linked to the awarding of the winner's comparatively small stake.

Consequently, the Administrative Court of Munich, in its ruling, comes to the conclusion that the regulations in the advertising guideline and the advertising practice based on it to promote high jackpot profits go well beyond a channelling and steering function of people interested in public gambling. The practice of jackpot advertising would actively and clearly provide incentives to participate in public gambling, number lotteries. Through such advertising practice, the goals of the GlüStV are ultimately no longer met.

Finally, the Administrative Court of Munich rejects a new assignment of the plaintiff's application on the grounds that the financial capacity of the applicant was not sufficiently established. However, in the "checklist" sent by the Government of Upper Palatinate, it merely requested the submission of a so-called sales concept.

Attorney-at-law Clemens Schmautzer of the law firm ARENDTS ANWÄLTE refers to the economic importance of the no longer tenable lottery monopoly: "The statements of the Administrative Court of Munich are likely to cause panic attacks in the German states, which were, since the fundamental decision of the Federal Constitutional Court of 28 March 2006, file no. 1 BvR 1054 / 01, more bad than right trying to continue to secure the proceeds of the lotteries."

According to attorney-at-law Martin Arendts, the states, and if they do not succeed, then the federal parliament, are called upon to finally create a coherent and consistent gambling regulation: "We definitely need a quantum leap. It was a gross tactical mistake that the state Prime Ministers at the ministerial presidents' conference on 17 March 2016 only decided on minimally invasive amendments to the existing regulations of the GlüStV in a formulaic compromise. After the sports betting licensing procedure, which was started in 2012, ended in a dead end due to several court decisions (which held the procedure not to be compliant with EU law), the state of Hesse had submitted a draft for the fundamental revision of the gambling system.”

22 June 2017

Online gambling: Court rejects non-transparent licensing regimes and prohibits enforcement measures

EGBA Press Release

Brussels, 22 June 2017

Today, the CJEU manifestly ruled that enforcement actions against EU licensed operators unlawfully excluded from national licensing processes are prohibited and not in compliance with EU law (case Unibet International (C-49/16). The Court confirmed the obligation on Member States to organise transparent licensing processes and rejected EU countries’ discretion to impose enforcement measures. This ruling comes at a crucial time for countries like the Netherlands, were national legislation that has been found incompatible with the Treaties, is enforced.

The Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) found that Hungary violated the fundamental freedom to provide services guaranteed under Art 56 of the EU Treaty (TFEU) prohibiting a cross-border operator licensed in the EU to lawfully provide its services in Hungary, by failing to organise a licensing tender published according to objective, transparent, non-discriminatory and proportionate criteria. This has been precised in para. 42 stating that, where it may be of interest to an undertaking located in a Member State other than that in which the concession is granted, [the State is required] to enable the service concession to be opened up to competition and the impartiality of the award procedures to be reviewed. The Court is further stressing the need for an impartial licence award [para. 41] and stressed that the rules of law be clear and precise and predictable in their effect [para. 43]. The judgment confirms existing CJEU jurisprudence1, such as the February 2016 Sebat Ince ruling <http://www.egba.eu/cjeu-german-sports-betting-regulation-continues-being-in-breach-of-eu-law/> (C-336/14).

Hence, when the national regime is in violation of EU law, a Member State is precluded from sanctioning an operator holding a licence in the EU. Such jurisprudence is more relevant than ever with Member States such as Poland and the Netherlands introducing very restrictive and incompatible regulatory frameworks and imposing subsequent enforcement measures which clearly contradict the fundamental principles of EU law.

In addition, the CJEU judgment states (see link <http://curia.europa.eu/juris/documents.jsf?num=C-49/16> ):

* “In that regard, it is sufficient to recall that, where a restrictive system has been established for games of chance and that system is incompatible with Article 56 TFEU, an infringement of the system by an economic operator cannot give rise to penalties (Pfleger and Others, C 390/12, EU:C:2014:281, paragraph 64 and the case-law cited.)” (para. 50).

* "The answer to the third question is that Article 56 TFEU must be interpreted as precluding penalties [Note: see para. 22 where penalties are, amongst others, defined as ISP blocking and fines], such as those at issue in the main proceedings, imposed for the infringement of national legislation introducing a system of concessions and licences for the organisation of games of chance, if such national legislation proves to be contrary to Article 56 TFEU." (para. 51).

Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA, comments: “The Court reiterated that Member States must guarantee that national regulation on online gambling services meets objective, transparent, non-discriminatory and proportionate criteria. Only a properly regulated and transparent online gambling market can ensure that the consumer is channelled to the regulated offer.”

Haijer added “The Court’s ruling is a clear message to other Gaming Authorities, including the Dutch Gaming Authority, that they must not enforce regulation that does not comply with basic EU law. We expect these Member States to reconsider and lift these enforcement measures as they are acting in violation of EU law. Their actions do not serve the interest of consumers, they fail to channel the consumers to reliable providers, instead they merely prop up failed regulation.“

See the CJEU’s press release here <https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2017-06/cp170068en.pdf> .


The Budapest-Capital Administrative and Labour Court asked the CJEU whether Hungary violated the freedom to provide services (Article 56 TFEU) for imposing administrative fines and temporary ISP blocking measures against an EU licensed and regulated operator, whilst it failed to publish a call for tenders and did not enable the operator to submit an application for the purposes of obtaining a Hungarian license. In 2014, the European Commission sent an EU Pilot letter to Hungary in reaction to the changes in the Hungarian gambling framework, in which it emphasised the negative impact on the freedom to provide services (Art 56 TFEU).


1 Sebat Ince, C-336/14, paragraph 55, EU:C:2016:72; Carmen Media Group, C-46/08, EU:C:2010:505, paragraph 90; and Stanleybet International and Others, C-186/11 and C-209/11, EU:C:2013:33, paragraph 47.