Germany loosens Online Gambling Rules, France Doesn’t

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germany_flag.gifPlayers who like to online gamble have won a small battle Wednesday. Germany has softened their rules on online gambling while France hasn’t budged much. The German court ruled this week in favor of an online gambling company in German and French budget minister reiterated that France wants to continue restricting most online gambling.

In Germany this week, the Administrative Court of Appeal in Hessen reversed a ruling by a lower court that had restricted Bwin, which is an Austrian online gambling company, from providing online gambling services to German customers.

Bwin, who operates, is licensed in Gibraltar and provides many online gambling services.

Reports say that the court ruling focused on the practical unfeasibility of enforcing the ban on internet gambling. That unfeasibility would render the law, to all intents and purposes, null and void.

This ruling could help bring Germany closer to falling in line with the European Union law that opens up the free trade among the EU member states. The European Court of Justice has been putting pressure on nations such as Germany and France that operate state-run online gambling but they restrict outside online gambling companies from operating there.

Bwin has also won a ruling this year in Austria where Vienna’s primary online gambling company had wanted a ruling to prevent Bwin from offering its online games of chance in the nation.

france-flag.jpgFrance, on the other hand, seems to be taking a different direction when it comes to the online gambling issue. While France has been negotiating with the European Union about online gambling, a French official has indicated that the nation is not ready to drop important elements of rules limiting online gambling.

Eric Woerth, who is the budget minister of France, said that France is not opposed to a certain opening but they remain firm on certain points.

Woerth and Jean-Pierre Jouyet, who is the European affairs minister, met with the officials from the European Union competition commission this week in Brussels to talk about France’s online gambling laws.

Reports say that France is ready to slowly open its online gambling market, though for right now it is only thinking about opening house race betting. Woerth has said that French authorities are also looking for guarantees regarding tax revenues and regulation.

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