Germany Postpones Online Casino Ban Decision
This past Wednesday, premiers from the 16 German provinces were unable to reach a unanimous decision regarding the online casino ban as well as proposed law bills to protect state gambling monopolies by blocking and forbidding online casino gaming in the country. The heads of the individual German states met to discuss the online casinos ban, which would have to be approved by the federal parliament. Three German states – Bavaria, Saxony and Hesse – have already introduced and implemented state laws.
Most of the German provinces operate lucrative monopolistic lotteries and find it in their best interests to protect these revenues from online casino gaming, according to reports by one local newspaper. If Germany were to deny access to its gamblers through a law based on protectionism grounds, it could find itself going against the European Commission, which is fighting to open the European gambling market which includes online casino gambling, but faces opposition from local and national governments who want to protect state lottery and gambling monopolies.
The three south German states that have made online casino gaming against the law did so because they felt that an Austrian public online casino company infringed their monopolistic law by not acting with their authority. The online casino group was happy about the postponement. ‘This decision is a very sensible one. The states will now have sufficient time to develop a legal framework for the German betting market in accordance with European law and the constitution,’ said Steffen Pfennigwerth, owner of the online casino firm in Germany.
The German provinces will take caution about the reaction of the European Commission to such a protectionist initiative as well. The attempt at a unanimous agreement on passing a law which would ban online casino gaming would have placed the issue before the federal parliament some time next year. Now that this objective has failed, the status quo regarding online casino gaming remains unchanged.