13th October 2018

EU Commission: Proceedings against German gambling discontinued

 

Gambling in Germany, governed by local laws. The EU Commission’s view of these rules has not been compliant in recent years. In fact, the EU even launched a procedure in 2015. From then on gambling companies could always invoke the freedom to provide services in the EU. Especially as the Federal Republic has not consistently enforced the laws enacted. However, the European Commission has now completely closed the proceedings regarding German gambling.

The German Sports Betting Association ( DSWV ) criticizes this decision and accuses the EU Commission shortsighted action. Although the EU terminates the procedure, this does not mean that German legislation is in line with European rules. In fact, it is only one out of a total of 130 cases closed against member states for prioritisation.

Commission withdraws from a dispute over German gambling

The federal states currently do not seem to be able to agree on the 2nd gambling state treaty. Supposedly to come into effect in 2018 and expand the number of sports betting licenses. This would mean online casinos and poker would continue to get disregarded. Some federal states have already announced that they will not sign a corresponding amendment. Furthermore, the banks in connection with the gambling companies in the course of the so-called Paradise Papers. These papers were in the focus recently. Allegedly, there were payments made, that did not comply with the German legal concept. This shows very clearly that gambling in Germany. Requires a new regulation that leaves no doubt as to the legality of certain services.

In a precarious phase, where the federal states are in disagreement. The banks are in the criticism and players often do not even know whether online gambling is legal. The industry apparently loses a great advocate. Common agreement in the European Commission, which pushes itself before its task. The conformity of the German gambling laws with the right of the European Union to agree. In his role as President of the DSWV, Mathias Dahms expresses himself very clearly. “The Commission disregards its task as guardian of the Treaties and thus of fundamental freedoms in Europe. We consider it extremely worrying that the procedure will be discontinued under false premises. Brussels obviously assumes that the legal situation in Germany will change from 2018. ”

EU Commission sets priorities: 130 cases against member states are closed. These come from the most diverse economic sectors. With regard to Germany, gambling is affected, among other things.

Is the decision of the European Commission based on a misinformation?

Effective from 1st of January 2018, the new regulations regarding gambling in Germany will come into force. It was planned at least with the 2nd Gambling State Treaty. The aim of the countries was to dispel the concerns expressed by the EU Commission over several years. However, Schleswig-Holstein and now also North Rhine-Westphalia reject ratification. However, a new regulation only makes sense if all federal states pull together. Even today, some online casinos and bookmakers can rely on 2012 issued concessions from Schleswig-Holstein. Meanwhile, almost certainly that the 2nd Amendment State Treaty on gambling in its current version will not get implemented.

It’s questionable whether the EU Commission erroneously assumes. That the planned revision of the law will close any denied gaps. If so, no basic review has taken place. Because a criticism was always the fact. That online casinos do not mention. This still not given. Even the German courts have repeatedly denounced individual passages from gambling law. Experts and entrepreneurs from the industry are basically in agreement. A need for a new gambling treaty. A revision is not enough. It is also interesting in this context whether the federal states have ever admitted to the EU Commission. That theses planned changes are unlikely to come into force.

Gambling in Germany : Online casinos, poker and other forms. Such as fantasy football. Currently not regulated in the Federal Republic. Other laws on sports betting and lottery in the industry or the courts do not go far enough.

Lack of EU support in critical phase

Where is the gambling legislation in Germany moving? This question is currently completely open. The current proposal, called the 2nd Gambling State Treaty, will probably not apply. The resistance is already too big. The prime ministers will meet again in this regard in the new year. At the next meeting, therefore, the discontinued EU procedure could also be an issue. Even though the EU Commission has made it clear.  That its own withdrawal cannot equate with the fact that German law is suddenly in line with EU legislation.

Gambling companies in Germany will continue to have access to the EU in order to reach a decision. Mathias Dahms explains this vividly. “Even if the European Commission has declared the long-drawn-out proceedings are settled today. The companies concerned are, of course, open to legal recourse, even to the European Court of Justice. The Commission expressly points out. “Whether the withdrawal of the European Commission changes anything. In the minds of politicians in Germany remains to be seen. Currently, there are more signs that there is a major interference with German gambling legislation”.