Schleswig-Holstein votes in favor of Glücksspielstaatsvertrag

Schleswig-Holstein’s state parliament has narrowly voted in favor of joining the interstate Glücksspielstaatsvertrag, repealing its own European Commission-approved Glückspeilgesetz

Schleswig-Holstein flagOld law repealed, but more licenses issued

Following a two-hour debate in Schleswig-Holstein’s state parliament, the house eventually voted in favor of joining Germany’s 15 other states in signing the controversial Glücksspielstaatsvertrag. This nullifies Schleswig own, much more liberal Glückspeilgesetz, which Schleswig-Holstein’s ruling SPD-Green has been a longstanding critic of.

The changing of the law comes amid news that Schleswig-Holstein’s gambling authority issued a further 12 online casino licenses during December 2012. The recipients of these new licenses include Ladbrokes, 888, Betfair and Bet365. Although the law is now changing, it is expected that operators already in possession of a license will not have that license revoked.

Federal ruling deferred

While Schleswig-Holstein’s parliament was ratifying its decision to join the Glücksspielstaatsvertrag, Germany’s Federal Court announced it was suspending its ruling on the legality of the Glücksspielstaatsvertrag.

The Federal Court announced it was seeking clarification from the European Court of Justice on a number of matters. These include whether having two separate laws in effect means German gambling law contravenes European law, and whether the repealing of Schleswig-Holstein’s Glückspeilgesetz now ensure it is compliant.

The case will not resume until the European Court has provided the required answers.

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