The new federal gambling regulatory body of Germany – the Glücksspielbehörde (GGL) – is still engaged in cracking down on Lottoland Group, as it considers the offerings of the international online lottery provider illegal. However, these claims have been disputed by the company which insists on the belief that its offerings are in line with the freedom of services of the European Union (EU).
The new German gambling regulator claims that Lottoland Group, which currently offers betting on lottery games’ outcomes, is illegal and should not be allowed to target local customers with its services. As a result, the Glücksspielbehörde addressed internet service providers (ISPs) and payment providers in the country to stop the maintenance of Lottoland and isolate the company from the local market.
The aforementioned measures targeted all subsidiaries of Lottoland, including lottoland.com, lottohelden.co, and lottohelden.de.
Unfortunately, the blocking orders issued by the new gambling regulatory body in Germany were not very well-received by the service providers themselves. According to the claims issued by the Glücksspielbehörde, internet service providers should voluntarily issue Internet Protocol blocks to gambling companies that offer their services without the necessary operating permits. However, the watchdog also threatened to impose a fine on the providers in case they fail to do so.
Gambling Operator’s ISP Blocking Orders Violate EU Treaties, Lottoland Claims
However, experts have noted that while the network blocks are currently one of the most extreme measures that can be imposed on a company by a country’s market regulator, they can be defeated relatively easily. Such network blocks can be actually circumvented with the use of so-called Virtual Private Network (VPN) technology. That is the reason why the Glücksspielbehörde faced criticism from the internet service providers in Germany for blackmailing them into the implementation of inadequate measures to regulate the local gambling sector.
As mentioned above, Lottoland Group has disagreed with being labeled by the German gambling regulatory body as an “illegal operator”.
The online lottery provider believes that the blocking orders issued by the GGL violate the country’s gambling legislation. As reported by Gambling News, a representative of Lottoland shared that the operator has already applied for operating licenses, and the application not only has not been rejected but is still being under evaluation, which basically means that the Glücksspielbehörde has no right to issue the aforementioned measures.
The Gibraltar-based company shared that it intends to defend its rights to offer its services in Germany in court in case the local gambling watchdog continues to issue IP block orders.
According to Lottoland, the Glücksspielbehörde might also be uncertain whether its restrictive measures against the company are legal or not. The representative of the gambling operator reminded that previously, Benjamin Schwanke had explained that the regulator is entering a new legal territory and revealed that the watchdog’s actions would have to be reviewed by a judicial body.
The spokesperson of Lottoland highlighted the fact that the country’s internet service providers are yet to suspend access to the online lottery company but if they do so, the operator might file a lawsuit against them and the German gambling regulator. The company believes that its products and services do not violate the freedom of services within the European Union, and in this case the EU treaties have to take priority over national law, so its offerings are not illegal as it has been claimed by the Glücksspielbehörde.