The New Year was seen in with an extensive ban outlawing almost all forms of online gambling in Germany. The ban has been ratified by at least 13 of 16 German states, and went into effect on New Year’s Day. The ban itself originated from a mid-December vote by each of the 16 state legislatures to not allow any form of Web-based gambling or brokering of games on the Internet.

The new law stops all wagering over the ‘net, specifically including placing bets with companies based in other countries. Advertising of any form of Internet gambling has also been banned, and the new law even allows German states to have ISPs block access to sites offering gambling.

Of course, with any law passed like this, challenges are to be expected, and so only time will tell how long the law will hold up. Four of the German states are already subject to an action filed with the European Union in October by Austrian online bookie bWin, and Tipp24 also plan to file action against the new rules. In a statement released on 19th December, Tipp24 claimed that it viewed the new rules as “as clearly contrary to law and will sue for its rights if necessary.” Politicians in opposition to the action passed by the controlling Hesse party are expected to fight as well.