ZfWG (Summary): Zahlungsdienstleistungen im Zusammenhang mit Glücksspiel-Angeboten im Internet als Geldwäsche?

By Dr. Bernd Berberich and Prof. Dr. Hans Kudlich, published in ZfWG 2016, 179 ff.


Payment services for online gaming operators regularly work transnationally. In detail the legal conditions for their job are very complex. With regard to the question of a possible criminal liability for money laundering different booking processes and game situations have to be distinguished.

  1. For transactions that are initiated by the player, there is to distinguish between incoming and outgoing payments.
  2. In the case of depositing there should by no means be an object which results from illicit gambling.
  3. For payments one has to differentiate:a) For games like poker, where the supplier only keeps the platform ready and the players compete against each other, the gains do not result from operating the game itself, since the monetary value was not available for the gaming operator at any time.b) For gambling like sports betting, where the players compete against the provider, this might be different. However, one could also interpret this scenario in the way, that an amount of money can not be assigned finally and clearly to the organizer, until winnings from the total wagers are paid to the winning players. Considering these uncertainties – also with regard to Article 103 para 2 GG – by a restrictive interpretation statement, the accusation of money laundering must be eliminated for lack of a suitable object (or alternatively any case because of the missing intent) in all cases, in which the player instructs transactions of funds at both, inputs as well as payments.

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