Having threatened to breakaway and implement its own regime this summer, the German province of Schleswig-Holstein is making its case for a uniform federal online gambling model – similar to that adopted elsewhere in Europe.
Politicians from the state recommended, to state heads and chancellors at a meeting in September, several regulatory objectives for the online sector that would create a “fair, responsible, transparent and legal” market across the country.
A statement from party leaders and electoral groups said: “One of our primary goals is to protect gamblers and minors from gambling addiction. In addition, we want to prevent fraudulent activities and effectively counteract the risk of money laundering.”
Measures include a partial end to the prohibition of in-play betting (only for final score and next goalscorer); a self-exclusion system to cover all channels; and force Lotto to adopt the same regulations on advertising as other forms of gambling.
The European Commission has also weighed in on Germany’s current regime – supposedly an 18-month experimental period before permanent regulations are introduced in 2021 – questioning why it is so restrictive, and how this will achieve their goals of stamping out a black market.
Former director-general for the single market at the European Commission, Lowri Evans, wrote: “The fact that the experimentation phase may be extended until 30 June 2024 does not significantly increase the attractiveness of the legalised competitive markets.”
German lobby groups representing the largest machine manufacturers and operators have also pushed their views in September, calling for online slots to be legalised to “break the deadlock.”