Germany Confiscates €63,490 From Online BlackJack WinnerJanuary 8, 2015 3:36 pm
An 25-year old German painter and decorator must have been on an incredible winning streak to have amassed €201,500 online playing blackjack between July and August 2011. Unfortunately, the unnamed man’s luck finally ran out after he attempted to withdraw the winnings from his bank, as the size of his five withdrawals attracted the attention of the German Financial Services Authorities.
A subsequent raid on his home unearthed €73,490 tucked away in a shoebox hidden in his attic and after at least convincing authorities €10,000 of that amount belonged to his mother, the remaining balance was confiscated as the proceeds of his “participation in unlawful gaming.” Furthermore, the gambler was saddled with a €2,100 fine for contravening Section 285 of Germany´s Criminal Code, the player’s fine calculated to be 70 daily fines of €30 each. As S285 states :
“Whosoever participates in a public game of chance (Section 284) shall be liable to imprisonment not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding 180 daily units.”
Online gambling and poker remains illegal in Germany under the Intestate Treaty on Gambling 2012 (ISTG), although according to some estimates Germany is one of the biggest online gambling markets in the world. However, the latest ruling by the Munich District Court represents the very first time a German player has successfully been prosecuted for unlawful online gaming, and could set a worrying precedent for the future of the country’s online players.
In this regard, Germany may now be signalling it is prepared to start targeting individual players, an option which seems to be increasingly more popular on the continent of late. Poland, for instance, calculated it was missing out on around €142 million in lost tax revenue each year that could have been paid by international operators, and so recently stated its intention to go after players using such unlicensed sites.