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Germany’s remaining states to join gaming State Treaty

9th November 2012 8:43 am GMT

The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia voted this week in favour of joining the State Treaty on Gaming, with a final favourable vote in Schleswig-Holstein also edging closer, ending the possibility of a fractured gambling market in Germany.

The North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) parliament voted Wednesday in favour of joining the State Treaty, with the CDU, FDP and Pirate parties losing out in a vote against the ruling SPD/Green coalition.

NRW interior minister Ralf Jäger said the State Treaty represents a reasonable compromise between making gambling services available while at the same time effectively combating gambling addiction.

Jäger added that in order to combat illegal online poker and casino offerings, state law would be amended to allow for up to five land-based casinos to create an attractive legal offering for such games.

The State Treaty on Gaming will come into force in North Rhile-Westphalia on December 1st 2012.

The north German state of Schleswig-Holstein is also shorlty expected to adopt the State Treaty, despite a public hearing on October 31st during which numerous experts questioned the validity of the Treaty under European law, including experts called by the ruling coalition which has unequivocally supported adoption of the State Treaty and the abandonment of Schleswig-Holstein’s EC approved gaming legislation.

Wolfgang Kubicki, parliamentary leader of the FDP, warned of an influx of legal claims from online gaming operators and described the move as a decision to “take an obviously incorrect legal path with eyes wide open”.

The CDU party described the push towards adoption of the State Treaty by the Schleswig-Holstein parliament as “lemmings following Dr. Stegner (SH SPD chairman) into the ravine”.

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