New German regulator to implement payment and IP blocking from 1 July

By Daniel O'Boyle

New German regulator die Glücksspielbehörde said it will begin to block IP addresses and payments for unlicensed websites – and possibly also affiliates advertising these sites – from Friday, with further details to be provided a week after the policy comes into effect.

The body is set to fully take over regulation of gambling in Germany on 1 January 2023. However, it will begin to take action against unlicensed operators and those advertising their sites from Friday (1 July).

The regulator has now given its first indications of how it will enforce this policy. It said it will use both payment and IP address blocking in order to shut down unlicensed operations.

“In addition to regular controls, the main focus when it comes to curbing illegal gambling is the implementation of the enforcement instruments IP blocking and payment blocking,” it said.

The Glücksspielbehörde added that it will “provide information on the concrete procedure for combating illegal gambling and the use of enforcement instruments such as IP blocking and payment blocking” on 8 July.

The body also mentioned work against sites advertising unlicensed gambling, suggesting that it will also take action against affiliates.

The announcement comes alongside the Glücksspielbehörde announcing the appointment of Nadja Wierzejewski as department head responsible for combating illegal gambling and advertisements for it.

Wierzejewski is currently head of gaming supervision for the state of Rheinland-Pfalz, a role she has held since 2008.

In her new role, Wierzejewski will also be responsible for the national gaming supervision system (LUGAS). This system will note the participation of players across all licensed German operators, in order to enforce rules such as the country’s cross-operator deposit cap.

While a number of operators have received sports betting licences for the German market, so far only three are licensed for online slots. Mernov received the first licence last month, with Tipwin and Mybet joining the list last week. Strict rules under Germany’s Fourth State Treaty on Gambling have been a major hurdle to entry. The treaty carried a number of conditions, including a €1 stake limit for slots. In addition, operators must pay 5.3% of their turnover in tax.

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