The German gambling laws which empower and maintain a state gambling monopoly are facing increased opposition. The “Interstate Treaty”, developed to protect the monopoly, was originally only opposed by Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony.
The German Interstate Treaty came into power on January 1st of 2008, amidst concerns regarding its enforceability. Already the law was a source of confusion after a German Court had only just upheld the validity of Bwin’s old East German sports betting license to offer internet betting in Germany. Moreover, at that time, gambling operators began looking to the European Commission to upend the treaty.
Now Bavaria, Hesse, Hamburg, and Saxony have all come out against the legislation. It appears that these states had a change of heart after the European Court of Justice found several elements of the treaty ignored the European Union’s law.
With six states now opposing, it seems improbable for the bill to pass without substantial revision, as German law mandates that new laws can only be made with the approval of thirteen of out of sixteen German states.
A gaming expert and partner at Hambach and Hambach law firm, Claus Hambach asserted that for private gambling operators this is “very good news”. While it seems obvious that increased choice will, without doubt, prove better for consumers, it is not yet clear how the downfall of this legislation will effect online gambling in Germany.