Many expected potential infringement proceedings to prompt Germany to overhaul its gambling legislation after years without a resolution, but Hesse has already doomed the controversial State Treaty to failure. 

It is hard to avoid a sense of déjà vu when covering Germany’s torturous licensing process. There are the usual facts that are always covered. Three years on from the State Treaty on Gambling coming into force, there is no sign of any licences being awarded. The Hesse Ministry of the Interior and Sport (HMDIS), the body responsible for awarding these licences, attempted to dole out these licences, only to see the whole process grind to a halt as a result of legal challenges.

Since then we have seen the whole process lurch from crisis to crisis. 

Courts in an increasing number of German states have lined up to trash both the licensing process and the Treaty itself. We have seen the Hesse courts maul the process, and a number of legal experts and the Bavarian Constitutional Court rule against the regulatory body, the Glücksspielkollegium, which has been described as unconstitutional.

Yet somehow the State Treaty has managed to limp on...

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