EU Rules German Gambling Monopoly “Unjustifiable"
European Court of Justice Says Government Gambling Monopoly Must Be Broken Up
The European Court of Justice today issued a landmark ruling on Germany’s protectionist gambling sector saying it was “unjustifiable” and must be dismantled according to Bloomberg news agency.
“The German rules do not limit games of chance in a consistent and systematic manner,” the Luxembourg court said. “In such circumstances, the preventive objective of that monopoly can no longer be pursued, so that the monopoly ceases to be justifiable.”
Under the current system only the country’s 16 federal states (Lander) can offer gambling services.
Sigrid Ligné, secretary general of the European Gaming and Betting Association, is delighted with the ruling saying, “This is a landmark ruling which will have a decisive impact on the much needed reform in Germany. Other Member States have opened or are opening their markets and moving away from a monopoly regime to a multi-operator licensing system.
“They show that consumers can be better protected in a market that is both regulated and open to competition. German politicians should face up to these market realities and take their responsibility towards German consumers. It signals the end of the German online gaming ban and will bring legal security to EU online gaming operators and German consumers alike.”
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