Germany’s Association for Telecommunications and Media (DVTM) has emerged as a major advocate of regulatory reform. CEO Renatus Zilles explains why he believes it is high time for the federal government to take charge of Germany's gambling market.

Years of stilted progress and legal battles seem to be finally culminating in a strong consensus in favour of a liberalised German gambling market. With the European Court of Justice finally ruling that the model supported by the state lottery monopolies contravenes European Union law and infringement proceedings likely to follow, politicians seem to have finally woken up to the need for action.

A lot is riding on the proposals put forward by Hesse Ministry of the Interior and Sport (HMDIS), the body responsible for handling the failed process to award Germany’s twenty sports betting licences. Now formalised in a draft State Treaty, Hesse proposes lifting restrictions on casino and poker, removing the licence cap and establishing a new body based under the Ministry of Finance to regulate the sector.

This bill, put forward by Interior Minister Peter Beuth, is set to be discussed at the Minster Presidents’ Conference today (March 17th) and it seems that once again the ultimate responsibility is being left with the states. The same states that have consistently pushed through State Treaties that have contravened EU law, prevented a viable market from opening and stunted the growth of what could become Europe’s largest gaming market.

The federal government has been quick to bat the responsibility for developing effective regulation to the states but after numerous failures it is understandable that those pushing for progress may feel it is time for the government to get involved.

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