German Federal Court Rules on Gambling Monopoly

TAGs: German interstate treaty, German sports betting monopoly

In a statement made by Germany’s Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig, Germany’s government sports betting monopoly based on the current state interstate treaty on gambling, is consistent with European law only if its legal and physical design is unambiguously geared toward fighting gambling addiction.

The Treaty had come under challenge last year from one of the 16 Lander locked in legal disputes with private operators. The ECJ had ruled in a similar fashion just a few months ago, that the “preventive objective” of the German monopoly system such as preventing gambling addiction “ceases to be justifiable”, given that the monopolies were carrying out intensive advertising campaigns with a view to maximizing profits, and by tolerating policies designed to encourage participation in games of chance which do not fall within the public monopoly such as casino games and automated games.

Towards the end of October 4 German states opposed the country’s state gambling monopoly. The Interstate Treaty was designed to protect the monopoly, but now the treat faces opposition from Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, Saxony, Hesse, Bavaria and Hamburg.

The recent ruling by the Federal Administrative Court of Leipzig has cast further doubt on the validity of the State Treaty on Gaming and this ruling effectively repeals an earlier ruling by the Court of Appeal which improperly examined the validity of the German monopoly on sports betting.


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