German crackdown raises the stakes for internet gambling

25 September 2006

By Eric Culp In Frankfurt And Pierre Tran In Paris 24 September 2006

German crackdown raises the stakes for internet gambling

BRITISH executives of online gambling companies could be arrested on criminal charges in Germany if they set foot in the country.

Officials from the interior ministries of the German states of Hesse and Bavaria told The Business that executives of foreign companies who let German residents place sports bets online are committing “criminal” acts that could lead to prosecution in Germany.

Germany’s threat to foreign managers follows the recent arrests in the US and France of executives from offshore gambling firms.

French state gambling officials also plan to adopt a tougher stand: officials told The Business that they will continue to report offences by foreign betting operators to the government, raising the possibility of more arrests of executives at offshore gambling firms.

Attempting to enforce their monopoly on sports gambling, Hesse, Bavaria and Saxony ordered Austrian online betting company Bwin to stop advertising and offering betting services in their states. The ban “goes for everyone else, too,” a spokesman for the Hesse interior ministry in Wiesbaden told The Business.


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