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Germany’s GGL has found itself at the centre of a legal storm as operators challenge certain aspects of the country’s gambling regulations.

The GGL stated that it was facing “a large number of lawsuits” primarily related to advertising and player protection provisions from operators.

However, recent rulings have strengthened the existing player protection measures, according to the regulator.

The Higher Administrative Court of Saxony-Anhalt revised the decisions made by the Administrative Court of Halle in five provisional legal protection cases after the GGL appealed, largely upholding GGL’s guidelines.

The court ruled that the bans on infomercials, advertising for free-to-play online casino games and virtual slot machines, influencer marketing, advertising by streamers, and affiliate marketing on sites that also promote unlicensed firms.

The court determined that these regulations were necessary to fulfil the objectives of the State Treaty on Gambling, which include combating addiction risks and protecting minors.

Complete ban disproportionate

However, the court also viewed the complete ban on advertising in public spaces, such as billboards, advertising columns, and public transport vehicles, disproportionate.

The court suggested that time restrictions, especially for digitally targeted outdoor advertising, could effectively protect minors.

Additionally, the court deemed it likely inappropriate to prohibit advertising at public film events before 9pm, specifically if the movies are exclusively for adults with an age restriction of 18 years.

In a separate ruling, the Administrative Court of Halle rejected the application of a Malta-based lottery company against the prohibition of unauthorised public gambling in Germany in an urgent legal protection procedure filed earlier in June.

According to the court, the prohibition was rightly issued because the applicant had offered gambling in Germany without the required licence.

The lottery business had already submitted two applications, both of which were rejected.