German State Says It Has Filed 25 Criminal Gambling Charges

June 14, 2022
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The state administrator’s office in Saxony-Anhalt said it has filed 25 criminal charges since July 2021 over illegal gambling and illegal betting events.

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The state administrator’s office in Saxony-Anhalt said it has filed 25 criminal charges since July 2021 over illegal gambling and illegal betting events.

In one case, a prohibition order was issued, and three cases are still under review.

The most common reason for charges was a gambling operator not based in the European Union that is not eligible to apply for a licence, the German state’s Ministry of the Interior told the German Press Agency (DPA).

The office checked 780 websites and reviewed 81 cases of potential illegal gambling, according to the ministry.

According to the agency, eight applications for virtual poker have been lodged, but four have required additional documents, and two have been withdrawn, the DPA said.

Of 62 applications for virtual slots licences, nine have been approved, the ministry said.

Despite the statement, there is still only one name on the “white list” of approved online slots operators, a list which was updated as recently as June 10.

“Many other cases still have to be discussed,” the ministry said.

Industry executives have said they believe that the Gambling Committee, which has oversight over the office’s decisions, has approved a number of applications but those applications are awaiting processing of required €5m bank guarantees.

The lone slots licensee, Mernov, said it launched its websites last week.

The Saxony-Anhalt administrator’s office ends its supervision of online gambling on June 30, after which authority moves to the Joint Authority of the Federal States (GGL).

There are concerns among operators waiting for their licences to be issued that the GGL will begin enforcement action against those still offering games while applications are being processed, after July 1.

“Providers who are not on the white list can expect regulatory action,” a spokesperson for the regulator told VIXIO GamblingCompliance. “There will be no condoning of online gambling operators that are not white-listed.”

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