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GGL fines Red Rhino €50,000 for unlicensed gambling

| By Robert Fletcher
German regulator Gemeinsame Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL) has fined Red Rhino €50,000 (£42,856/$53,337) for offering online gambling in the country without a licence.
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Red Rhino had withdrawn its German-facing Platincasino.de website but players could still gamble on its Platincasino.com site. The operator does not hold a licence in Germany, nor does it appear on the GGL’s white list of approved brands.

GGL said that as Red Rhino does not have approval to operate, it is in breach of national law. This, it added, has resulted in the fine being issued.

The regulator also issued a “high penalty payment” to the payment service provider that acted in connection with Red Rhino. Neither the identity of the provider nor the penalty amount was disclosed.

Announcing its decision, GGL said this ruling should signal it will continue to take action against illegal activities. The regulator added that penalty payments can be repeated or increased until unlicensed activities cease.

“The GGL’s measures are having an impact and we are seeing an increasing pushback on existing unauthorised online gambling offers,” GGL board member Benjamin Schwanke said.

Fellow board member Ronald Benter added: “This is accompanied by a channeling to legal offers. Consumers should make sure that they only use legal online gambling offers, as the strict legal player protection measures are supervised by the GGL.”

Changes at the top for GGL

GGL is now under new leadership after Udo Götze, state secretary in the Thuringian ministry of the interior and municipal affairs, became chair. Götze took on the role in July, replacing Jorg Sibbel.

The change came six months after the GGL took over all tasks as gambling regulator. The body is required to update its chair every year on 1 July in line with the Fourth State Treaty on Gambling.

Each chairman is selected by a German state, which take their turns in alphabetical order.

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