Germany banning Unemployed Bettors
North Rhine-Westphalia, which is Germany’s biggest state, has imposed a ban on unemployed bettors in their area. The ban arose when various unemployed people were denied betting action through a company called Westlotto, which offers sports betting to German players.
The whole ordeal began in March when Cologne, Germany government officials told Westlotto to stop taking heavy betting action from North Rhine-Westphalia players who wagered more than they earned. The main reason why Cologne officials requested the ban is that they don’t want people who are on social security benefits to be gambling money. And while the request seems reasonable, there are some missing details that have North Rhine-Westphalia residents angry.
One of the biggest problems people have with this decisions includes the fact that the Cologne officials didn’t define what heavy betting action is. Essentially, low income players don’t know if they’re even allowed to bet $5 a week with the new ruling in place.
Another complaint about the safeguard is that Westlotto officials haven’t been given any set of guidelines or income standards to go off of in regards to players who shouldn’t be betting. Instead, the employees were supposed to use their own judgment when deciding who could and couldn’t make bets.
Westlotto themselves are not happy about the restrictions placed on betting by the government, and Westlotto’s spokesman Axel Webber echoes these sentiments when he said, “To refuse to take a bet simply because of a suspicion would amount to discrimination, according to our reading of the law.”
It’s widely believed that Westlotto will try and appeal the restrictions placed by the Cologne Regional Court. Even if their appeal isn’t successful, perhaps it could at least get a set of definable guidelines in place for the future.