German court rules IP blocking orders against Lottoland lack legal basis
A court in Germany has decided there is no legal basis for IP blocking orders against Lottoland as issued by Germany’s gambling regulator, the GGL.
The Higher Administrative Court of Rhineland-Palatinate in Koblenz, Germany, declared the GGL’s website blocking order to be unlawful.
In July 2022, the GGL first announced that it had issued IP blocking orders against Lottoland in its fight against unlicensed websites.
Lottoland in turn stressed its right to provide services across borders in the EU and announced it would defend itself “with all legal means, including state liability suits”.
At the beginning of October, the GGL said it had asked additional ISPs to block the Lottoland Group’s websites.
Several ISPs initially refused to follow the GGL’s blocking orders.
One ISP based in Rhineland-Palatinate filed a complaint against the GGL’s orders.
While the Koblenz Administrative Court initially ruled in favour of the GGL, the ISP appealed the decision.
ISP is not responsible
The Higher Administrative Court then found that the blocking order was unlawful because the service provider was not responsible for the gambling offer of Lottoland.
According to the provision of the German Telemedia Act (TMG), service providers are not responsible for third-party information to which they provide access for use, provided they have not initiated the transmission, have not selected the addressee of the transmitted information and have not selected or modified the transmitted information.
None of this was the case, the court found.
This is legally binding decision in an interim proceeding between the GGL and the ISP; however, the decision could still be overturned in the main proceedings.