In what has to be seen as a bit of a bad omen to start the year off in online poker, Germany has effectively banned online gambling in their country. This came as a surprise to many seeing as in November a ruling went against an online gambling ban occuring in Germany, but the new year was rung in with this unexpected ban. No online based gambling of any kind is allowed under the new ruling. The ruling also has teeth, as well. Germans cannot place wagers of any sort to a gaming company outside of the country, as well as inside of the country. The new law also lets internet service providers block any websites that promote any sort of online gambling, from betting on horse races to the most popular form of online gambling, poker. Also, banks are no longer able to take transfers of any kind for gambling related nature. This includes a withdraw from a gambling site, or depositing onto one. By cutting off the banks, the German government effectively crushes the ability of Germans being able to gamble on anything online.
The new law contains not only rules for banks and ISPs, but it also outlaws any television or internet advertising for any form of Internet gaming. Also, newspapers and magazines are no longer able to even encourage anyone to gamble online in Germany. They can only inform them of their abliity to do so.
The end of 2007 and the start of 2008 have been a bit of a shaky time for online gambling. The bills that go towards the legitimizing of online gambling in the United States have stalled out recently. We will have to wait and see how things pan out as not only online poker, but online gambling in a whole faces a very important time period in the coming months.