German gambling regulator issues first ever fine to licensed operator for advertising breaches
Germany’s gambling regulator the GGL has imposed a five-digit administrative fine on a licensed operator for breaching advertising regulations.
This is the first time the regulator has issued such a fine since taking responsibility for overseeing the German gambling market on 1 January.
The regulator first began fighting illegal gambling and advertising via IP and payment blocking in July 2022.
Today (14 March), the GGL said it would not disclose any details on the company in question or the exact amount of the penalty.
However, the regulator confirmed that the operator offered games of chance in Germany and had received a permit from the GGL to do so.
According to the GGL, the operator then deliberately advertised its offer on affiliate websites that also promoted unregulated gambling offers.
This is prohibited under the advertising provisions of Germany’s State Treaty on Gambling, which aims to ensure player protection by strictly separating legal and illegal offers to protect channelisation to the regulated market.
GGL co-CEO Ronald Benter: “The withdrawal of the permit in the event of repeated violations of the provisions of the State Treaty on Gambling is a measure that we do not shy away from.”
GGL co-CEO Ronald Benter said the regulator considers these advertising regulations to be justified, and that it consistently monitors legal providers for violations.
“In the event of violations, we levy heavy fines. The withdrawal of the permit in the event of repeated violations of the provisions of the State Treaty on Gambling is a measure that we do not shy away from,” he added.
Co-CEO Benjamin Schwanke said legal online gambling providers should have no interest in advertising on sites that promote illegal gambling, as it would damage their reputation.
Other European gambling regulators are taking an increasingly firm stance by cracking down on unlicensed operators, with the Netherlands Gaming Authority (KSA) leading the charge.
In 2023, the KSA has significantly increased its enforcement activities, imposing a series of fines on both licensed and unlicensed operators. In some cases, the regulator has attracted criticism from the industry for its approach.