The Glücksspielbehörde (GGL), Germany’s new federal gambling regulator continues to crack down on Lottoland Group, whose offerings it considers to be “illegal.” However, the operator disputes these claims, believing that its offerings are in line with the European Union’s freedom of services.
ISPs Aren’t Happy with GGL’s Alleged Abuse of Power
The German regulator claims that Lottoland, which offers betting on the outcomes of lottery games, is illegal and should not be offerings its products to customers in the country. As a result, the GGL asked payment providers and internet service providers to isolate Lottoland from the local market. These measures targeted all of Lottoland’s subsidiaries, which include lottoland.com, lottohelden.de and lottohelden.co.
However, these blocking orders were not very well-received by the service providers themselves. The regulator claims that ISPs should voluntarily issue IP blocks to unlicensed gaming operators. However, the authority also threatens to fine the providers if they fail to do so. In addition, while network blocks might be one of the most severe measures a regulator can impose, they can be easily circumvented with the use of VPN tech. As a result, German ISPs criticized the GGL for blackmailing them into imposing inadequate measures.
Lottoland Said Its Offerings Are Permitted by European Law
Lottoland, on the other hand, disagrees with being labeled as an “illegal operator.” The company stated that the blocking orders that the GGL issued are in breach of Germany’s gambling law. A Lottoland representative told Gambling News that the company has already applied for licenses which are still being evaluated. Since the application has not been rejected, GGL has no right to issue an IP block, Lottoland argues.
Lottoland vowed to defend its rights to operate in court, should the GGL proceed with its IP block orders. Moreover, the operator pointed out that the GGL might also be uncertain about the legality of its measures. The Lottoland representative quoted Benjamin Schwanke who noted that the GGL is entering “a new legal territory” and confirmed that its actions are “subject to a judicial review.”
The Lottoland spokesperson emphasized that ISPs are yet to block Lottoland but if they do, the company might take legal action. The operator firmly believes that all its products and services are in line with the European Union’s freedom of services. It is adamant that German law is in breach of the EU treaties, which should take priority over national law.
Lottoland concluded that its offerings are not illegal, despite GGL’s claims on the contrary.