Latest German gambling treaty needs urgent ratification

News on 19 Sep 2017

The finance minister for the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, André Schröder, warned this week that unless the fifteen other German lande (states) do not ratify the latest Interstate Treaty on Gambling by January 1 next year, the agreement will lapse.

Our readers may recall that the treaty is an attempt to unify gambling reform across Germany in order to better protect the consumer, and that the revised treaty of 2012 allowed for the issue of 20 online sports betting licenses, which were issued two years later.

Major online sports betting firms successfully contested the cap on licenses through the courts when they were not among those accepted, and early this year the licensing cap was doubled to 40, attracting interest from some 35 international operators.

Speaking to German reporters this week, minister Schröder said that the governments of all 16 German lande had agreed on the treaty and its March 2017 amendments after some debate on debts and enforcement arrangements, and emphasised that it was now necessary that every state formally ratify the treaty before the January 1 2018 deadline.

“If the ratification fails in individual states, then these regulations cannot be applied nationwide as of January 1, 2018,” Schröder explained. “This would be unfortunate, because then the current regulations simply would continue, along with problems around execution.

“That is why we are very much campaigning for the states to ratify. If this is not the case, we need to consider how we can deal with the continuity of current regulations and what we can do to protect consumers.”

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