Germany’s GGL is currently embroiled in a legal controversy as operators contest specific elements of the nation’s gambling regulations.
Germany’s GGL has encountered a significant number of lawsuits primarily concerning advertising and player protection provisions, as stated by the organization. However, recent rulings have reinforced the existing player protection measures, as confirmed by the regulatory body.
After the GGL lodged an appeal, the Higher Administrative Court of Saxony-Anhalt reevaluated the decisions made by the Administrative Court of Halle in five interim legal protection cases. The court largely upheld GGL’s guidelines in its revised rulings.
In its judgment, the court concluded that prohibitions on infomercials, advertising for free-to-play online casino games and virtual slot machines, influencer marketing, advertising by streamers, and affiliate marketing on websites that also promote unlicensed companies were necessary to achieve the objectives outlined in the State Treaty on Gambling. These objectives encompass addressing addiction risks and safeguarding minors.
Courts Deem Complete Ban on Advertising Disproportionate in Gambling Regulations
Nevertheless, the court expressed the opinion that a complete ban on advertising in public spaces, such as billboards, advertising columns, and public transport vehicles, was disproportionate. Instead, the court proposed that time restrictions, particularly for digitally targeted outdoor advertising, could effectively protect minors.
Furthermore, the court deemed it potentially inappropriate to restrict advertising at public film events before 9 pm, especially if the films are exclusively intended for adults and carry an age restriction of 18 years.
In a separate decision, the Administrative Court of Halle dismissed the application of a lottery company based in Malta in an urgent legal protection procedure filed in June. The court justified the prohibition on the grounds that the applicant had been offering gambling services in Germany without the necessary license. The lottery company had previously submitted two applications, both of which were denied.