Federal states consider total monitoring of online gaming
Published by Giselle
June 10, 2019 7:25 am
Gambling on the Internet is attracting more and more people to Germany. If the state chancelleries of the federal states are to blame, they will soon be threatened with total surveillance.
With rigorous means, German authorities could monitor the online gaming market and millions of customers of such offers in the future. The extensive proposals with network blocking or payment blocking (credit cards) also include government-imposed betting limits, for example for sports betting, and a control of each individual player via special databases, when he logs on to a provider’s website and how long he plays there with what stake. This can be seen from the current documents of a responsible working group of the heads of the state chancelleries, which are available to the F.A.Z. and whose content is a recommendation for the prime ministers of the federal states.
This also involves the establishment of a supervisory authority. “However, an adequate staffing and technical equipment of the responsible body, which exceeds the capacities available in the respective Länder to date, would be absolutely necessary for success”, says a paper. The discussion should also include entire advertising bans on sports betting.
After years of haggling, the 16 heads of government decided on Thursday at their conference in Berlin to amend the controversial State Treaty on Gaming, which has been in force since 2012. According to the amendment, a regulated licensing procedure for sports betting providers will take place, which will thus come out of legal illegality. If this agreement is notified by the EU and adopted by the parliaments of the 16 federal states, it will only apply until mid-2024, when the current State Treaty on Gaming expires – and the conflict between the proponents of a hard line and the opponents who are striving for a dissolution of the state gambling monopoly begins anew.
No agreement on reform proposals
A major reform on gambling is controversial in Germany. There is still no common line among the federal states that are responsible for this in dealing with online casino games, which in the broader sense also include poker games on the Internet. These offers do not have a German gaming license, but a license from another EU member state and are therefore actually illegal in Germany. Nevertheless, customers gamble.
Peter Beuth (CDU), Hesse’s Minister of the Interior, informed the F.A.Z. in writing that he would advocate the licensing and regulation of online casino games in the deliberations on the next State Treaty on Gaming. “If there is no agreement on a coherent regulation of the online casino market in line with European law, Hesse will create its own state legal regulation from 2024 onwards. This is also anchored in the black-green coalition agreement.
The state lottery companies are close to politicians and authorities. At the center of their argumentation are the high risks of addiction if the various gaming services are given legal status. At a recent event at the University of Hohenheim, Georg Wacker, head of the lottery in Baden-Württemberg and former member of the state parliament of the CDU, propagated a total ban for all private providers except sports betting companies and lottery brokers. Wacker called in his lecture for “more permanent posts and material resources in the budgets of the federal states” to improve the equipment of supervisory authorities.