..

German States Want to Keep Gambling Monopoly

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Dec/15/2010
Germany Gambling

By Hans-Edzard Busemann

BERLIN, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Germany's 16 federal states want to keep their monopoly on lotteries, a move likely to keep Europe's largest economy from fully opening up its lucrative betting and gambling market.

Wolfgang Boehmer, state premier of Saxony-Anhalt, said after a meeting with his colleagues on Wednesday they had agreed to keep the monopoly on lotteries but still needed to agree future regulation for sporting bets.

The states -- in control of gambling in Germany -- must draw up new regulation before current rules expire at the end of next year, but taking bets on sports events may prove a sticking point. The federal government also needs to agree.

States led by the Christian Democrats -- Chancellor Angela Merkel's party -- aim to open the market on sports bets worth billions of euros, while those ruled by Social Democrats are against allowing sports betting from private operators.

A decision on sport bets may come next February when the heads of the states' chancelleries are due to discuss it, a Saxony-Anhalt spokesperson said.

Germany has argued the monopoly protects customers from fraud and addiction by keeping lotteries, sports betting and other kinds of gambling limited to only state-run operators.

In recent years, the monopolies have come under threat from private operators wanting to enter the market, online gaming based in offshore locations and from grey areas in the law.

UNTRAMMELLED COMPETITION

'Nobody can have an interest in freeing up the whole lottery sector and in subjecting it to untrammelled competition,' said Klaus Wowereit, mayor of the city state of Berlin.

In September, Europe's highest court rebuked Germany for its gambling restrictions, saying they breach European Union law.

The verdict was a rare victory for companies seeking to break domestic monopolies in a multi-billion euro industry, such as Germany's Tipp24, Austrian bookmaker bwin and its British merger partner PartyGaming.

The European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) argued governments could restrict gambling only if the curbs were designed to protect consumers or prevent fraud. Otherwise, such bans violated laws on the free movement of services and the freedom of establishment.

The European Commission, which has pressured Germany and other EU members to open up the sector, said it hoped Germany would implement reforms in line with EU law.

'The EU Commission hopes the result of the discussion among state premiers will lead to reforms that will be consistent with EU law,' EU Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier told the newspaper 'Die Welt' for publication on Thursday.

Proceeds from lotteries in Germany -- 2.8 billion euros last year -- fund social, cultural and sports projects in the states.

(Additional reporting and writing by Annika Breidthardt; Editing by David Cowell)

Gambling News

Borgata Drops Trade Secrets Lawsuit Against Ocean Casino

Borgata Drops Trade Secrets Lawsuit Against Ocean Casino

Atlantic City’s top casino has dropped its lawsuit against a rival it accused of poaching key executives and attempting to steal valuable trade secrets.

Chinese Rocket Debris Lands in Indian Ocean at 1-3 Odds

Chinese Rocket Debris Lands in Indian Ocean at 1-3 Odds

Parts of an out-of-control Chinese rocket that towered ten stories high finally impacted the Earth during the early morning hours of Saturday (Eastern Time).

Odds of Where the Chinese Rocket Will Crash

Odds of Where the Chinese Rocket Will Crash: Land 3-1, Water 1-2

With the Earth made up of 71% water, the odds of the Chinese Long March 5B rocket debris hitting land are long.

Lakers Injuries; NBA Playoffs Props 2021

Lakers Injuries; NBA Playoffs Props 2021

BetOnline has bumped the Lakers' championship odds from +300 on Monday to +400 as of Friday, following the ankle injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

First Things You Need to Know About Starting Your Own Online Sportsbook

First Things You Need to Know About Starting Your Own Online Sportsbook

The sports betting industry is, for sure, one of the biggest and most profitable you will ever find in the modern world. Betting on sports, casino games, horse racing, and other gambling products, have become one of the most popular hobbies and fun daily activities for millions and millions of people from all over the world, and if you can get in on it and run your own operation, then you will most probably start getting a good piece of the pie. 

Syndicate