GGL rejects decriminalization of unregulated gambling

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GGL rejects decriminalization of unregulated gambling

The German regulator (GGL) has taken a stance against the proposed decriminalization of unregulated gambling. In lieu of this, GGL is advocating for the expansion of legislation to empower the prosecution of overseas operators, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive regulatory framework.

Last year, Germany’s justice minister Marco Buschmann revealed plans to eliminate section 284 from the criminal code, prohibiting unauthorized gambling. This move is part of a comprehensive revision of Germany’s criminal law, targeting outdated provisions.

Burkhard Blienert, Germany’s drug and addiction commissioner, was among the early voices opposing the planned law relaxation.

The GGL contends that the proposed reform could substantially compromise efforts to combat black market operators in the country. The existing legislation empowers authorities to press criminal charges against organizations suspected of engaging in illegal gambling activities.

GGL CEO Ronald Bente said:

We urge the federal ministry of justice to reconsider the planned reform and instead advocate for expanding the paragraph to encompass illegal gambling providers operating abroad. The possibility of criminal prosecution abroad would serve as a deterrent to such providers.

Benter highlighted the necessity of clarity in applying German law to overseas gambling providers. The GGL, in a letter to Justice Minister Buschmann, urged the inclusion of this aspect in the revised criminal law.

Additionally, Benter cautioned against the potential repercussions of eliminating section 284, particularly regarding the fight against money laundering. He argued that such a step might result in a “regulatory gap,” effectively decriminalizing a substantial portion of money laundering activities.