German Province Opts Out Of Treaty On Gambling

Schleswig-Holstein puts a serious spanner in the German works

The German province of Schleswig-Holstein has refused to ratify the March amendments to the Second Interstate Treaty on Gambling following a vote last Friday on amendments proposed in March this year.

The rejection throws a major spanner in the overall gambling regulatory plans in Germany, already troubled by European Commission reservations, because to come into effect as a national system the Treaty must be agreed by all sixteen German provinces.

The move followed statements by the finance minister of the Saxony-Anhalt province, André Schröder last week in which he warned that unless the fifteen other German lande (states) ratify the Treaty by January 1 next year, the agreement will lapse (see previous InfoPowa reports).

Schleswig-Holstein is threatening to go back to introducing its own gambling regulatory system, which would include expanded online provisions taking it past sports betting to some forms of online gambling.

The maverick province has reportedly based its rejection on several grounds, including its view that the Treaty is not EU law compliant; requires stronger responsible gambling provisions; and does not allow for the expansion of the current sports betting regulations to embrace other forms of online gambling such as poker and casino action.

Earlier this month, legislators in North Rhine-Westphalia announced that they would not be ratifying the treaty.