The new German Online Gambling Law has been rejected by the EC

The new law project regarding gambling in Germany had several objections coming from the EC.

The European Commission rejected the German law draft regarding the gambling regulations because it violates the laws of the European Union. The amendment of the objected provisions will lead to acceptance of the law draft, in which purpose, the EC has extended the consultation period for one more month. In this time, the German project must be modified in order to avoid infringement procedures and finally, financial penalties.

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) explained the reasons of this decision. The proposal opens the online sports betting market for European operators but is protects the state monopolies cleverly. This way, only 7 licenses will be available for EU operators and the state monopolies will be absolved from the licensing procedures.

Another objection that the EC had to make refers to the exorbitant 16.67% turnover tax that has been proposed. This makes wagering unviable but in exchange protects the state monopolies’ offline betting from online competitors. The German draft entails that only certain online games are to be offered and only by certain operators that are already running land-based casinos in Germany. The license fee is advantageous only for land-based operators and does not relate to the costs for maintaining the licenses.

Secretary General of EGBA, Sigrid Ligne, pointed out that the law draft violates the EU law and more than this, with the prohibitive tax on wagers which doesn’t apply to the state monopolies it actually disregards the EU gambling operators from other member states. Ligne suggested to the EC the disallowance of the draft which conflicts with the EU legislation.

The actual German law is agreed by all sixteen German states and will expire at the end of 2011. The new project was supposed to replace it, but it is no likely to be so. The state of Schleswig Holstein has already proposed a new law draft that hasn’t been objected by the EC and is also sustained by the EGBA.


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