The face of internet gambling in Germany is changing. Right now, all German states are signatories to a treaty that supports monopolistic practices, locking external competition out of the nation’s gambling market. This treaty is set to expire in late 2011, and new regulatory scheme will have to be made. Recent events are giving gamblers a hint of what the new scheme will look like.
German states are reluctant to give up control of the German lottery system. Wolfgang Boehmer, state premier of Saxony-Anhalt, revealed last week that he and his fellow decision makers have no interested in losing control of the nation’s lucrative lotteries, and intends to keep the state monopoly on German lottery intact.
The fate of sports betting and internet betting in Germany is not quite as clear. Some states are very much interested in liberalizing the nation’s sports betting industry, while others have issue with the idea of handing sportsbooks over to private operators.
The European Commission is of course pressuring Germany to dismantle the existing monopoly. So for officials have managed to argue that the monopoly exists to protect players from fraud, but the EC continues to challenge Germany on this issue.
The heads of the German states’ chancelleries are set to meet in February to discuss the state of sports betting, but it could be several months before we see any hint of what changes will be made to German gambling laws during 2011.