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Online Gambling Laws Fail Implementation in Two German Districts

Online gambling is a billion dollar industry and a notable source of revenue for governments when properly regulated. And bitcoin casino gambling has followed in the footsteps of regulation too. But in Germany, two city administrators have failed to implement new gambling laws.

The two districts, Hilden and Cologne in North Rhine-Westphalia State in Germany are faced with implementation issues, reports say. Each of the district’s administrators gives different reasons for the failure to implement the laws. In Cologne, the city administrator outlined several challenges faced in attempts towards implementation. He expressed fears of complaints from operators which he projects to be too many to handle. He also has a staff shortage making it difficult to execute implementation.  Additionally, he feels that the said implantation procedures are too complicated. The German parliament through SPD parliamentary group spokesperson expressed incredulity on the failure.

“I don’t understand why the laws were not implemented yet the city’s director Keller assured us the laws will be implemented. He himself assured us that the cities are ready to implement the new gambling laws but up to now nothing has happened.” Dr. Gerrit Krupp, Parliamentary group spokesperson.

Similarly in Hilden, the new gambling laws have failed to take off. Although the new laws are geared towards protecting German citizens, neither of the two city administrators show ability to implement them. In Hilden, promoted as a ‘gambling paradise’, the laws would have helped protect against addiction, a problem that has left online gamblers subject to cyber attacks in Russia. They would also define and regulate the distance from adolescents and children areas to the gambling halls. In to the bargain, the same laws require gaming halls to operate under a certain time frame. These would have come handy in managing and regulating activities in the city.

Cryptocurrency came and changed the online gambling landscape all together. Players can easily place bets on different platforms and pay with Bitcoin or other preferred altcoins. While it has improved online gambling, the downside of cryptocurrency gambling is that it may nimbly lead to addiction. Today, gambling has moved from small dark joints to easily accessible platforms online. Easy access means more participants joining in for the fun and money which increases the chances of addiction. These considerations attracted the need for regulations.

Germany has different approaches in implementation of laws. Case in point, the new gambling laws are part of a public law but are implemented at a state level. States have districts controlled by administrators. The administrators in turn are responsible for implementing laws. Whereas Hilden and Cologne districts have tried and failed to implement the laws, other cities have filed lawsuits against the laws. This doesn’t come has a surprise as online gambling laws especially bitcoin related laws have over time faced lawsuits in court.

The online gaming industry currently generates billions of dollars in revenue for governments across the world. Regulated gambling platforms in Germany for instance, contribute 35 billion Euros to the government annually. The same industry employs close to 200,000 people and generates taxes as high as 5 billion Euros. Beyond that, licensed platforms from the EU generate huge sums of money for the German government. Comparatively, the black market gambling industry is estimated to be worth 1.5 billion Euros and keeps growing by the minute as the value of Bitcoin increases.

Consequences of the failure

Since the laws came into effect in 2012, many casinos have closed down while others have opened. The closure of hundreds of casinos has left gamblers in limbo leaving Germans choosing a new past time and gambling online or using illegal gambling dens. The said illegal gambling dens have increased to bridge the gap created by the new laws. Consequently, illegal gambling shifts its revenue to the black market. The online gaming industry has hugely benefited from the development of cryptocurrency. Virtual currency makes it easy for gamblers to play, deposit, and withdraw cash. They offer secure and private transactions making it more attractive to players. Over and above, blockchain technology is tremendously improving the online gambling industry. It is streamlining the gambling processes making it more transparent. Blockchain technology is expected to help improve the industry.

Meanwhile, it is a wait and see whether Hilden and Cologne administrators will find ways around the challenges and implement the laws or not.

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