Germany freezes $60k in Poker Winnings for Waiter who quit Job

Germany is really starting to crack down on online gambling because, just months after freezing an online blackjack player’s winnings, a German bank has confiscated €40,000 from an online poker player.

The poker player is a 29-year-old Sicilian man who was waiting tables in Dresden, Germany. He is only an amateur player, as the $11 previously in his online poker account indicated. However, he made a strong run through a major poker tournament and earned $59,480 (approx. €53,750).

Encouraged by his windfall, the man decided to quit his waiter job and make a full-time run at online poker. But this is where his story goes downhill because he first had to wait for a German bank to process his €40,000 transaction. This is a common practice among European banks in order to prevent money laundering. However, the man was saddened to eventually find out that the bank froze his money while stating that internet poker is illegal in the federal state of Saxony.

At least the man has another €13,750 remaining in his poker account, but he’ll have a tough time getting this money while in Germany. Furthermore, it seems increasingly unlikely that he’ll ever see the €40k moved to his bank account or returned to his online poker account.

As mentioned before, another state in Germany arrested an online blackjack player who’d won €201,500. When German authorities raided his home, they found €73,490 stuffed in a box. The police wanted to confiscate all of the money, however, the blackjack player was able to successfully argue that €10,000 of the cash belonged to his mother. Nevertheless, they took the remaining €63,490 under the banner that online blackjack is considered “illegal gambling.”

Given two high-profile incidents about three months apart, it seems like Germany is undergoing their own sort of purge against online gamblers. Only one state in the country regulates online gaming (Schleswig-Holstein), but even this is under challenge after the old government that enacted pro-gambling laws was voted out of office. The other 15 states do not consider online gaming legal, but the laws aren’t usually enforced either. Adding further complication to the issue is that all 16 German states have their own separate legislation on iGaming, making it difficult for players to sort through the matter.