While a wide consensus has formed across the German gambling industry, political parties, and media and telecommunications associations regarding the future shape of gambling legislation, there are still clear divides on how this should be achieved.
The European Court of Justice’s recent ruling on Germany’s State Treaty on Gambling has confirmed in everybody’s mind that change is inevitable. The 2012 legislation has been dogged by controversy from the outset. After the process to award the country’s twenty sports betting licences collapsed amid a flurry of legal challenges, the ECJ pilot process has now paved the way for infringement proceedings to be launched.
This should, and ultimately will, prompt a total overhaul of the laws. At a symposium held in Berlin last week by the German Association of Internet Businesses (eco), it became apparent that most industry representatives, legal experts and stakeholders want the same thing: a liberalised model without any restrictions on product verticals or the number of licences available, and a workable tax rate based on gross gaming revenue, as proposed by Hesse Minister of the Interior Peter Beuth.