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Commerz Shuts Down Steffen Sontheimer’s Bank Account Due to Gambling

August 23, 2020

German highstakes pro Stefen 'RunGo0seRun' Sontheimer has become the latest big name to see his bank account closed down simply for being a professional poker player…

The 29-year old Gernsbach-born player has amassed more than $13.7million in tournament earnings over the years, including a monster $3,685,000 scoop of the $250k buy-in partypoker Live CPP SHR title back in 2018.

That seems to have cut no ice with his bankers, however, who seem to be following a trend seen in non-regulated countries, although Germany’s online gaming sector is currently undergoing changes.

Before we get to that, just last month Daniel Negreanu saw his Bank of America business account summarily shut down, and not for the first time – KidPoker also facing banking problems back in 2015…

That earlier closure saw many others reveal similar problems, including Doug Polk…

Back to Sontheimer’s current problems and they are almost certainly related to recent changes in the regulatory landscape in Germany.

Bizarrely, given Germany’s prominence in the EU, the nation’s gaming laws have been accused of flouting EU rules, with only the state of Schleswig-Holstein offering licences.

Earlier this year, although a new regulatory regime is being discussed, government authorities warned Germany’s banks about processing payments from international online gambling operators.

For banks who simply don’t want to get involved in the details and intricacies of such matters, a blanket ban that also covers poker players is the easy option.

It is far from a popular approach among the poker community, of course, who have long had to suffer the results of a ‘poker = gambling’ mindset…

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