German Gambling Treaty Draws EC Criticism

Plans for a new online gambling treaty in Germany have drawn criticism from the European Commission, as well as online gambling operators.

15 of the 16 German states have agreed to award 20 nationwide sports betting licenses to companies, which in the view of the European Commission contravenes EU competition laws. The proposal also recommends the banning of online poker and casino games on the basis that they can become addictive for participants, and can be very easily rigged against players. This is despite the fact that all reputable online gambling companies have their random number generation software independent audited by large consulting firms.

The treaty also highlights the possibility that poker and games could be used for money laundering purposes.

Betfair’s chief legal and regulatory affairs officer said:

“The proposals contravene fundamental EU free market principles and it is only right that the Commission acts to prevent member states from enacting legislation designed to keep local monopolies in and the competition out.”

Only the state of Schleswig-Holstein has adopted the more liberal regime which the European Commission are in favour of, but it hopes the other states will fall into line in due course.