Court of Justice of the European Union says different state gambling laws could co-exist

EU 2iGaming Business – The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has decided that EU law does not prevent the co-existence of liberal gambling regulations in Schleswig-Holstein and the so-called ‘Inter State Treaty’ agreed by the 15 other states in Germany.

All of Germany’s 16 states, collectively referred to as the ‘

Länder’, with the exception of the northernmost of Schleswig-Holstein, abide by the treaty, which dictates stricter policies on gambling.

The case dealt with by the CJEU focused on the question of whether the successful multi-licence regulation for online gambling operators in Schleswig-Holstein can exist side by side with the more restrictive treaty adopted jointly by the Länder.

The CJEU concluded that having two different licensing systems in a federal state is not necessarily against EU law, according to the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA).

The ruling was issued following a request by Germany’s Federal Court for clarification on whether Schleswig-Holstein’s regulations may have an impact on the tougher laws in the other 15 German states in a case involving online gaming operator Digibet and the state lottery, Westdeutsche Lotterie.

However, the CJEU made it clear that it had not ruled on the legality of the treaty itself, which is subject to another referral by the German court of Sonthofen and is set to be decided in 2015.

The two-year grace period granted by the European Commission to Germany for making its Inter State Treaty work will expire on July 1, 2014. So far, no sports betting licences have been granted under the treaty.

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