German Gambling Ban Begins to CrackPublished November 1, 2009 by OCR Editor
A rogue state threatens a countrywide ban.
The German Interstate Treaty, which came into effect last year, instigated a national gambling ban that covered all forms of land based and online gambling, with the exception of horse racing.
An Unlawful Treaty?
Since the Treaty came into effect, the EBGA (European Betting and Gambling Association) and others have voiced criticism over the legislation, claiming it creates a monopoly which violates EU law. They specifically argue that it breaches Article 49 by restricting the rights of EU members to provide online gaming services.
The Tide is Turning
Last week a crack appeared in the Treaty when the ruling coalition from the German state of Schleswig-Holstein; the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and the Liberal Party (FDP), issued a joint statement calling for the end of the Treaty and for the introduction of intrastate regulation.
This statement is viewed by many as being the initial crack that will smash the Treaty to pieces. The remaining 15 states, each of whom signed the Treaty, will certainly be keeping an eye on events.
Unless a revision to the Treaty is agreed by all 16 participating states by 1 January 2012 then it will lapse, making the current state gambling monopoly unenforceable.
Watch this space and Online Casino Reports Germany to keep track of the shifting sands in this landmark story, which could well have repercussions in other European states.