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Poker Legislation & PPA Discussion hosted by Rich Muny Discussions of various poker-related laws and steps players can take to push for better laws.

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Old 07-17-2012, 04:14 PM   #1
knircky
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Stars moving Germans to EU site

Just got the email from stars.

Does anyone understand why and what the legal implications are. Does it have anything to do with the new German law that makes online poker illegal?

I'd really like to understand the legal situation in Germany. I just don't get how stars can operate there with a clear law that makes online poker illegal in every state.
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:28 PM   #2
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Re: Stars moving Germans to EU site

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Originally Posted by knircky View Post
Just got the email from stars.

Does anyone understand why and what the legal implications are. Does it have anything to do with the new German law that makes online poker illegal?

I'd really like to understand the legal situation in Germany. I just don't get how stars can operate there with a clear law that makes online poker illegal in every state.
Basically the same way they continued to operate in Washington (WA) long after there was a clear law, as long as the law faces legal battles, they will contend that it's a 'gray' area.
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:46 PM   #3
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Re: Stars moving Germans to EU site

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Originally Posted by knircky View Post
Just got the email from stars.

Does anyone understand why and what the legal implications are. Does it have anything to do with the new German law that makes online poker illegal?

I'd really like to understand the legal situation in Germany. I just don't get how stars can operate there with a clear law that makes online poker illegal in every state.
My best guess is that they are setting up a challenge to the German law, based upon EU law .... This sort of issue is being fought repeatedly by Euro operators, as EU members try and ringfence or prohibit market access by licensed entities from other EU countries.

PStars actually is specifically licensed in many other EU member countries, more than anyone else I think.

Expect litigation. Germany is a huge market, with an experienced player base and high demand........ sort of like the US.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:44 PM   #4
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Re: Stars moving Germans to EU site

Yea I am sure Germany is 2nd largest market in the world after e US and I am sure stars does not do thinks like this for fun.

I am German and I have read the new German law (passed July 1.st). It states clearly that online poker is illegal.

I would guess is that the idea is that Malta is EU and you cannot restrict business within the EU from another EU site. But I don't know how this works legally and would sure like to have it explained to me.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:59 PM   #5
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Re: Stars moving Germans to EU site

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Originally Posted by knircky View Post
Yea I am sure Germany is 2nd largest market in the world after e US and I am sure stars does not do thinks like this for fun.

I am German and I have read the new German law (passed July 1.st). It states clearly that online poker is illegal.

I would guess is that the idea is that Malta is EU and you cannot restrict business within the EU from another EU site. But I don't know how this works legally and would sure like to have it explained to me.
The EU has anti-monopoly rules similar to the US dormant Commerce Clause, which as I said makes your situation a parallel to the situation of Washington State in the US.

Until the Washington Supreme Court ruled their anti-online poker bill to not be a violation of US State anti-monopoly rules, PokerStars continued to accept Washington players, and will continue to serve German players until the that law is sanctioned by the EU courts.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:27 PM   #6
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Re: Stars moving Germans to EU site

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Originally Posted by tamiller866 View Post
The EU has anti-monopoly rules similar to the US dormant Commerce Clause, which as I said makes your situation a parallel to the situation of Washington State in the US.
Thank you.

Can you elaborate? Sorry for being so uneducated. I don't understand how Italy or France can shut off their market while Germany can not shut theirs down....
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:50 PM   #7
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Re: Stars moving Germans to EU site

knircky, I hate to say it but tamiller866 frequently extrapolates from one situation to another with nothing more than a cursory review of the facts.

The situation with respect to Germany is very different from the situation with Washington state. The new German law is the equivalent of a new Federal law in the US. Germany, a nation, has much more sovereignty than Washington, a state within a nation.

But it is true that Germany is part of the EU and the EU has a number of treaties regarding restriction of trade. They also have a number of EU court decisions that clearly hold, at least with respect to online gambling, that nations retain a certain amount of control that lets them get away with less than clearly free trade. Italy and France are prime examples of that, and there was a case in Spain recently that validated their new law. But those laws did not ban all online poker, only online poker not licensed by the respective country. A total ban on online poker is a new situation for the EU. Experts I have read express much disagreement as to the validity of Germany's new law under EU rules.

PokerStars, I am sure, has some of the best legal experts in the EU advising it in this situation; and I suspect (because they usually do) PokerStars will at some point state their formal legal position and accompanying change in policy (if any).

I do not know what PS will do with respect o Germany, ultimately; but I think what happened in WA is only a clue, hardly a reason to be certain.

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Old 07-17-2012, 11:15 PM   #8
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Re: Stars moving Germans to EU site

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Originally Posted by Skallagrim View Post
knircky, I hate to say it but tamiller866 frequently extrapolates from one situation to another with nothing more than a cursory review of the facts.

The situation with respect to Germany is very different from the situation with Washington state. The new German law is the equivalent of a new Federal law in the US. Germany, a nation, has much more sovereignty than Washington, a state within a nation.

But it is true that Germany is part of the EU and the EU has a number of treaties regarding restriction of trade. They also have a number of EU court decisions that clearly hold, at least with respect to online gambling, that nations retain a certain amount of control that lets them get away with less than clearly free trade. Italy and France are prime examples of that, and there was a case in Spain recently that validated their new law. But those laws did not ban all online poker, only online poker not licensed by the respective country. A total ban on online poker is a new situation for the EU. Experts I have read express much disagreement as to the validity of Germany's new law under EU rules.

PokerStars, I am sure, has some of the best legal experts in the EU advising it in this situation; and I suspect (because they usually do) PokerStars will at some point state their formal legal position and accompanying change in policy (if any).

I do not know what PS will do with respect o Germany, ultimately; but I think what happened in WA is only a clue, hardly a reason to be certain.

Skallagrim
Maybe you haven't heard Skall, Germany is now a member State in this new thing called the European Union, it's like a federation, similar to the United States over there in America.
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:56 PM   #9
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Re: Stars moving Germans to EU site

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Maybe you haven't heard Skall, Germany is now a member State in this new thing called the European Union, it's like a federation, similar to the United States over there in America.
Snark.

Want to ask the UK whether they are a "member state"?

They are a member state only in the sense that "state", to most of the world outside the US, means a sovereign nation.

Do you think the rest of the EU will go to war, as the US did, if a "member state" chooses to leave this "federation"?

Have you ever bothered to read the EU treaty or any of the EU court cases concerning their mutual agreements?

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Old 07-18-2012, 12:32 AM   #10
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Re: Stars moving Germans to EU site

Thank you skalla.

Though I feel still pretty dumb :-) but just a tad smarter.

So basically making it totally illegal is too unfair, but making more rules is ok??
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Old 07-18-2012, 02:01 AM   #11
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Re: Stars moving Germans to EU site

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Originally Posted by Skallagrim View Post
Snark.

Want to ask the UK whether they are a "member state"?

They are a member state only in the sense that "state", to most of the world outside the US, means a sovereign nation.

Do you think the rest of the EU will go to war, as the US did, if a "member state" chooses to leave this "federation"?

Have you ever bothered to read the EU treaty or any of the EU court cases concerning their mutual agreements?

Skallagrim
You posted an ad hominem attack, and my reply is "snark"?

Pot-kettle-black much?

Ask Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts or Virginia whether they consider their commonwealth's sovereign, or any other State or Tribal land for that matter.
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:55 AM   #12
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Re: Stars moving Germans to EU site

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Originally Posted by knircky View Post
Thank you skalla.

Though I feel still pretty dumb :-) but just a tad smarter.

So basically making it totally illegal is too unfair, but making more rules is ok??
The question you ask is essentially the question that the EU courts will have to decide.

I think the problem is that Germany does allow gambling of various sorts. If it banned ALL gambling, my guess is the EU would not second guess that decision. But since it has only banned SOME gambling, the operators of other legal EU gaming sites will maintain that the ban is really just protectionism of revenue in the guise of protecting "virtue." Whether they succeed with that argument remains to be seen.

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Old 07-18-2012, 10:36 AM   #13
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Re: Stars moving Germans to EU site

Can someone explain to me if this means Germans will be segregated from the ROW? If so FML
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:26 AM   #14
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Re: Stars moving Germans to EU site

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Can someone explain to me if this means Germans will be segregated from the ROW? If so FML
No nothing changes in Germany. The move has no consequence from a player experience point of view. Accounts are just hosted in Malta vs isle of man.
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Old 07-18-2012, 12:13 PM   #15
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Re: Stars moving Germans to EU site

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it's a 'gray' area.
Isn't that the Island Nation that sends checks for cash-out, too??
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:43 PM   #16
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Re: Stars moving Germans to EU site

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Can someone explain to me if this means Germans will be segregated from the ROW? If so FML
RoW other than EU, yes, they have a better standing to challenge the German law if they are an EU company, so they will serve German customers from their .EU in Malta.

Had PokerStars been able to legally offer poker into Washington State from a .US site, say in NV, they would have had a better dormant commerce clause argument against their protectionist legislation.

EDIT: WRONG!

Player pool is merged: PokerStars to Migrate German Players to EU Platform

Last edited by tamiller866; 07-18-2012 at 03:55 PM.
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