German Media Regulators Crack Down on Online Casino Ads
Earlier today, the German media finanznachrichten.de reported that the German broadcasting regulators sent out a letter to a great number of TV and radio stations, warning them to reconsider the broadcasting of casino-related advertisements. In the letter, the telecom regulatory bodies emphasise that the broadcasting of gambling ads is prohibited under the current legislation.
The German telecom authorities sent the letter to hundreds of private TV and radio stations on February 25. According to Wolfgang Bauchrowitz, a Deputy Director and Legal Advisor at the Media Institute for Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, the frequency of the casino-related advertisements has drastically decreased since then. Bauchrowitz announced that administrative sanctions will follow for the broadcasters who do not adhere to the regulations.
The letter comes a few months after the expiration of the online casino licenses issued by the state of Schleswig-Holstein (SH). SH is the only German state where online casino games are legalised. Back in 2012, the state authorities legalised online gambling and announced that as many as 20 casino operators would be allowed to provide their services within the state borders. That decision was challenged in court by operators that applied for a license but could not make the cut.
The online operators that were granted a SH license continue advertising their products not only in SH but also nationwide, despite the licenses’ expiration. The casino operators have used the SH coat of arms in their advertisements, which made the regulators issue the letter of warning.
The 2012 federal treaty is set to expire in the middle of 2019. Until then, the German state authorities have to come up with a mutually acceptable decision regarding the online gambling licensing across Germany.
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