Germany's gambling future remains uncertain
The European Commission is pressuring for changes in Germany's gambling legislation. The federal states have decided to keep their lottery monopoly, but are undecided on online gambling.
Germany's 16 federal states want to keep their monopoly on lotteries, but remain undecided whether to fully open the betting and gambling markets.

According to the egrmagazine.com, the federal states, headed by State Premier of Saxen-Anhalt, Wolfgang Boehmer, have agreed to keep the lottery monopolies, while the future arrangements for online betting and gambling, such as internet poker, are still to be decided.

The federal states can decide for themselves if they wish to open their betting and gambling markets to private operators, but will have to agree with the federal government on a given framework.

A group of five Christian Democrat Party-governed states are currently in favor of opening the country's sports betting market, while other Länders want to uphold the existing monopoly on both lotteries, betting and gambling.

This is likely to mean that Germany's egaming market will be regulated on a state-by-state basis in the future, and this could further lead to a domino effect, in which the most successful model will prevail.

The dispute comes in the wake of September's landmark European Union Court of Justice ruling, which declared Germany's current national gambling monopoly illegal.

This because keeping out private operators is a violation of laws on the free movement of services and the freedom of establishment, the court said.

The ruling was a rare victory for private companies seeking to break the domestic monopolies, such as Ladbrokes, Austrian betting giant Bwin and its future merger partner PartyGaming.

The European Commission has since pressured Germany to open the sector, expressing its hopes that the country would implement reforms in line with EU law.

Under the current model, the $2.8 billion generated via state-controlled gambling and betting in Germany fund social, cultural and sports projection in the 16 federal states.

It is estimated that private companies operating in Germany from offshore locations generate close to €7.3 billion in annual revenues.
45 years ago
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