Saxony-Anhalt finance minister Andre Schröder has appealed
to the parliaments of Germany's fifteen other states to ratify the country's
revised State Treaty on Gambling as soon as possible.
Schröder said that community and consumer protection were
central aspects of the revised Treaty and warned of heightened risk in the
event that the states fail to ratify the legislation.
"The minister-presidents of all the federal states have
agreed on changes to the gaming contract," he said. "This was a
month-long process of arguments and compromise.
"Sachsen-Anhalt is in favour of this gaming agreement
with its amendments. It is now important to ensure it is ratified. If it is not
ratified in individual states, these regulations cannot be applied nationwide.
This would mean the existing regulations simply continue."
German gambling regulations have regularly been found
wanting by the European Commission, with the current 2012 Treaty facing
numerous legal challenges which have prevented a single license from being
Under the revised Treaty that is due to come into force on
January 1st, 2018, the state of Saxony-Anhalt will assume responsibility
for the licensing process on behalf of all German states. However, the Treaty
can only come into force if it is adopted by all 16 states.
The revised Treaty allows for an unlimited number of
sportsbook licences while prohibiting online casino and poker games. This
is contrast to the regime employed in the state of Schleswig-Holstein,
where each product is licensed and regulated.
Schleswig-Holstein lawmakers also claim to have the support
of their counterparts in Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and North
Rhine-Westphalia for new gambling legislation based on
the Schleswig-Holstein model.
Echoing Schröder's call, however, Deutsche Lotto- und
Totoblock (DLTB) president Torsten Meinberg said that any delay in adopting the
revised State Treaty would only serve to harm players.
"If the treaty is not ratified, sports betting will
remain grey and illegal gambling cannot be effectively controlled,"
Meinberg said. "Foreign gamblers without a German license attack the
public-oriented gambling companies by plagiarising their offerings, and
ignoring consumer protection requirements. Rapid action is required."