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Legal Status of Online Blackjack in Germany in Question

A hot streak on the virtual blackjack tables of an offshore Internet casino has landed a German man in legal trouble. The online gambler in question, whose name has not been made public in accordance to Germany’s privacy laws, works as a painter and is fond of playing blackjack at online casinos. In 2011, a visit by Lady Luck put this man ahead by more than 200,000 euros; alas, a German district court determined that this online gambler participated in unlawful gaming.

cards_chips and mouseThe German blackjack player was not caught red-handed playing blackjack online; he was actually suspected of irregular financial activity as he rushed to get payouts from the casino, which he deposited into his bank account and then withdrew in five structured transactions. It was the structuring of the sizable cash withdrawals that landed the man in hot water; the German Financial Services Authorities paid him a visit and discovered 73,490 euros hidden in a shoebox stored away in an attic.

Are Online Casinos Legal in Germany?

The funds found in the shoebox prompted an investigation into the German player’s activities. It was determined that his blackjack winnings came from many rounds played at an online casino registered in Gibraltar, licensed in the United Kingdom and operating from London.

The man was found guilty of participating in a public and unlicensed gambling operation; it is important to note that the blackjack tables he visited were operated by a licensed entity, but not in Germany. Of the 73,490 euros confiscated, he was allowed to keep 10,000 and was fined 2,100.

As such, online gambling that is not licensed in Germany is illegal; the only exception being horse racing. The European Union is currently not too happy about Germany’s stance on this issue, but it remains a sovereign matter.