The operator behind a trio of Lottoland-branded domains has announced that a recent press release concerning its business and issued by Germany’s Gemeinsamen Glucksspielbehorde der Lander (GGL) gaming regulator contains ‘a number of inaccuracies.’
Gibraltar-headquartered EU Lotto Limited is responsible for the sites at Lottoland.com, Lottohelden.de and Lottohelden.com and it reached out following the publication of a Monday story in which the GGL was reported to have asked local Internet service providers to voluntarily block punters from accessing these three domains. The regulator was quoted in this piece as asserting that the trio allow punters to place online wagers on the outcome of lottery draws in violation of the country’s State Treaty on Gambling (GluNeuRStV) and has been illegally operating in Germany ‘for years.’
However, this claim immediately drew criticism from EU Lotto Limited as it got in touch to proclaim that Internet service providers in Germany are ‘very critical’ on the issue of blocking and ‘are against it’. The operator moreover declared that the trio of Lottoland-branded sites ‘are not illegal’ as they have been offering their wares under the European Union’s freedom to provide services statutes and that these take ‘priority over national law.’
In the Monday piece and the GGL furthermore contended that it had initiated legal proceedings against EU Lotto Limited in July and was subsequently successful in getting the ‘five Internet service providers with the highest turnover’ to block access to the Lottoland-branded trio. But EU Lotto Limited later contested this claim by pronouncing that no German enterprises have obstructed visitation to the domains with ‘no formal blocking order’ having yet been issued.
Read a statement from EU Lotto Limited…
“German law is not compliant with European Union treaties, which take priority over national law. We believe that blocking orders against the Lottoland sites are not permitted by the German gambling law as the Lottoland sites have applied for licenses that are still being evaluated and have not been rejected.”
In the Monday report and the Co-Chief Executive Officer for the GGL, Benjamin Schwanke, was quoted as noting that his organization has been responsible for combating illegal online gambling under the tenets of the GluNeuRStV since July. The figure went on to state that the federal watchdog is now prepared to use a number of ‘enforcement instruments’ against illicit domains including payment and network blocking although these may need to be subjected ‘to judicial review’ as the Germain iGaming market is ‘entering new legal territory’.
EU Lotto Limited replied by alleging that this frank admission means that the GGL ‘does not seem to be convinced about the legality’ of its blocking campaign as it is already envisioning ‘a court dispute.’ It finished by asserting that it believes such actions to be against German law and that it is now resolved to taking ‘legal action in the German courts should such blocking orders actually be issued.’