S-H prepares to fight for liberal German regulatory model

19 September 2019

Lawmakers representing Schleswig-Holstein’s ruling coalition have put forward a number of key regulatory objectives for the renegotiation of Germany’s federal gaming laws ahead of the annual meeting of state heads and chancellors.

The meeting, which begins today (19 September) and runs until Friday, is the final meeting of state lawmakers before October’s Minister-President Conference, at which gambling legislation is to be a key topic.

The Schleswig-Holstein lawmakers, representing the parties in the state’s so-called ‘Jamaika-Koalition’ wanted that they would push for a “fair, responsible, transparent and legal” gambling market. This, the quartet said, would only be possible when all products are regulated and monitored.

The statement, from Hans-Jörn Arp, parliamentary leader of the Christian Democratic Unionists, Lasse Persdotter of Bündis90/The Greens, Jan Marcus Rossa of the Free Democratic Party and Lars Harms of the South Schleswig Voters’ Association continued:

“One of our primary goals is to protect gamblers and minors from gambling addiction. In addition, we want to prevent fraudulent activities and effectively counteract the risk of money laundering.”

To achieve this, they set out a number of key demands, highlighting Schleswig-Holstein’s stance for the negotiations over the new regulatory framework to be implemented from 30 June, 2021.

As expected, the quartet highlighted the importance of online casino regulation. While they want to lift the State Treaty’s prohibition on in-play betting, they only propose doing so for final scores and next goalscorer, and not for other in-play events. Lotto, meanwhile, would be expected to be subject to the same advertising restrictions as all other forms of gambling.

However, they also state their opposition to the “Trennungsgebot” which would prohibit gaming machines and sports betting being offered in the same land-based venue.

Finally, they said, a uniform self-exclusion system, in place across all channels, must be established, with mandatory limit setting enforced to ensure players and young people were protected from gambling related harms.

While lawmakers ratified the third amended State Treaty on Gambling in March this year, it is only in place as a placeholder until 30 June, 2021, alongside Schleswig-Holstein’s more liberal framework. This is largely to ensure federal online betting licences are finally awarded, with numerous attempts to do so halted by legal challenges since 2012.

However, the Treaty has come in for criticism from the European Commission, which queried whether its restrictive conditions and short term would be effective in channelling players towards the legal market. Despite this, lawmakers insist that no further changes will be made.