Playing In Lotteries Abroad Could Be Illegal In Your Country

Lottery jackpots worth millions, such as in the USA (“Powerball”, “Mega Millions”) or in Spain (“El Gordo”) also tempt many gamblers on a regular basis. Even websites from Asia like satta king could be tempting too knowing that it’s the most played on in India. But you have to know better.

Powerball is a US lottery. The game is organized by the “Multi-State-Lottery Association” (MUSL), an association of federal lottery companies in the United States of America. Therefore, you will have to know if the American Lottery is permitted in your country. For instance. In Germany, online participation in the Powerball lottery from Germany is illegal gambling if the provider has not been approved under German law. The same applies to participation in other lottery offers abroad.

Does state lottery violate EU law?

However, the providers see it differently. In their eyes, the German gaming legislation violates European law. “While slot machine games with a considerable potential for addiction are completely liberalized, the countries insist on the state monopoly of the lottery,” says Dr. Rolf Stypmann, spokesman for Lottoland. “The suspicion here is that it is only about excluding private lottery competition and not about systematic addiction prevention,” said the former head of Lotto Niedersachsen.

As “highly controversial”, Prof. Dr. Martin Heger, an expert on European criminal law at the Humboldt University in Berlin, the legal situation. “The European Court of Justice has conceded the German regulations, and with it the state monopoly on gaming.” Therefore, it is currently unclear whether German criminal norms can still be applied. Result: There are no criminal proceedings against participants in illegal online betting.

Are profits paid out by private providers?

One thing is certain: there is no state guarantee on the payout of winnings for participants if they play on websites abroad warns the consumer advice center. “The type and design of the websites of these providers suggest to consumers that they are taking part in the well-known lotteries of the state organizers.” This is often only in the small print.

The providers reassure their participants: They, too, can reliably pay out high millions in profits, are appropriately protected. “At Lottoland, profits of up to five million euros are paid from ongoing business,” explains spokesman Dr. Stypmann.

Is online gambling punishable or not?

According to Sachsen-Anhalt Lotto, anyone who plays a black lottery online is participating in an illegal game of chance and is liable to prosecution in accordance with Sections 284 and 285 of the Criminal Code. According to the law, an online ticket for a black lottery is void anyway, i.e. invalid.

The providers, however, see themselves in the law: “With an EU license, foreign gaming providers offer their services completely legally in Germany,” says Lottoland spokesman Stypmann. This emerges from a judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on September 8, 2010. In this “Carmen Media” decision it was established that the German State Treaty on Gaming violates EU law and that a gaming company based in Gibraltar could invoke the EU’s freedom to provide services.

Conclusion: There is obviously a gray area on the Internet under gaming law. Enforcement is difficult, the public prosecutors do nothing. In the gray area, there is almost no prosecution. The fact that the judiciary is hesitating and waiting is also due to the planned reform of the gaming laws.