Blocking Order Under Gambling Law for Providers of Telecommunications Services is Illegal

May 30, 2023 | Internet

Press release from the Administrative Court of Koblenz from May 24th, 2023

Koblenz, Germany (May 25, 2023) — There is no legal basis for the blocking order issued to a provider of telecommunications services for unauthorized gambling offers on the Internet. This was decided by the Administrative Court of Koblenz.

The defendant issued a blocking order against the plaintiff, a telecommunications service provider, as part of the gaming supervision. Among other things, she instructed the plaintiff to block certain websites of the lottery companies with headquarters in the Republic of Malta within the scope of her technical possibilities as an access broker, so that access via the Internet access provided by the plaintiff in Germany was no longer possible. The defendant also ordered the blocking of internet sites communicated by it in the future, on which the type and scope of illegal gambling offers are essentially congruent (so-called mirror pages).

The lawsuit brought by the plaintiff against the blocking order under gambling law was successful. The contested blocking order is unlawful. There is no legal basis for the blocking of the internet pages of a foreign gambling provider ordered by the defendant against the plaintiff. In particular, it cannot be based on the regulations used in the 2021 State Treaty on Gaming. The plaintiff acting as an access broker is not a responsible service provider within the meaning of the relevant standards here. Because the legal basis used by the defendant in the State Treaty on Gambling 2021 represents a final special regulation, the issuance of the blocking order cannot be justified with recourse to the catch-all authorization contained in the State Treaty on Gaming 2021. In the absence of a legal basis, the further blocking order relating to the so-called mirror pages could also not be upheld.

The parties involved can file an application for admission of an appeal against this decision.

(Koblenz Administrative Court, the judgment of May 10, 2023, 2 K 1026/22.KO)

Decision 2 K 1026/22.KO can be accessed here.

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