Friday, March 31, 2006
Gaming monopolies to stay, says German government

Following the Supreme Court decision earlier this week, the German Länder (States) where quick to react.

At a conference of Heads of Länder yesterday, it was decided that the monopolies would stay and that power over gambling issues would remain a Länder competence.

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court ruled that the exisiting laws in Länder should changed to be conform constitutional law. See our earlier New Headlines article. The changes in the law should either open up the market or tighten regulation in a way that would justify the existence of monopolies. Yesterday, the Head of the Länder decided to do the latter.

In addition, German authorities announced to close the many unauthorised bookmakers. Already in the state of Baden-Würtenberg alone, 400 unauthorised bookmaker outlets seem to operate, 100 in the city of Münich, 250 in Berlin, etc.

It is still unclear what will happen with the betting licenses given by the former East European government, which have been used to operate throughout Germany. It is also unclear what the government is going to do against the various unauthorised betting websites in off-shore jurisdictions like Malta or Gibraltar.