German Blackjack Player Fined $74,000

US players have long been wary of playing online blackjack or using online casinos, slots sites or poker sites but one German player has just fallen foul of the sometimes complex laws that can impact European players.

Many countries have laws clouded with grey areas and whilst US players are welcomed at all of the great casinos we feature here and can play with no trouble, luck ran out for a German blackjack player who saw himself hit with a huge fine.

A judge in Munich ruled that the UK site at which he played, which was licensed in Gibraltar, was illegal in Germany because playing games of chance that are not licensed in Germany is not permitted. The player, who was caught when police discovered a box of cash at his home, pleaded ignorance and said that he believed internet gambling to be legal having seen it advertised by tennis superstar Boris Becker at local soccer side Bayern Munich.

The judge clearly felt this was irrelevant and the unnamed man was hit with 70 fines, each of €30 and was also forced to suffer the pain of seeing more than €63,000 of blackjack winnings confiscated from him. An additional €10,000 of cash in the box was, so the man claimed, his mother’s, and escaped the confiscation order but even so, losing a total that is equivalent to around $74,000 has to be a pretty bad day at the blackjack tables for just about anyone.

Many US players feel they are the only ones for whom online gambling isn’t as easy as it should be and whilst some European countries, chiefly the UK, have very liberal gambling laws, it’s clear that it’s not just Americans for whom things aren’t always as straightforward as they should be.

The blackjack player in this case has lodged an appeal against the court’s decision and there seems to be a clear issue with his country’s law, that means it is fine to play at a bricks and mortar casino overseas but not fine to visit that same casino in a virtual sense. There are further complications surrounding Germany’s membership of the European Union and EU law and this debate looks set to continue in Germany.

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