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Sports Betting, Online Poker & Co.: BGH Refers German Gambling Regulations to the ECJ

January 31, 2013 News & Reports

by Dr. Wulf Hambach and Maximilian Riege

Not only the Commission, but also the BGH now has its doubts regarding the German gambling system. Does the special act in Schleswig-Holstein on its own render void the inter-state treaty between the other federal states? And what happens now that the new Schleswig-Holstein government has decided to join the inter-state treaty after all? Wulf Hambach and Maximilian Riege think that there is a danger of a new negative ruling from Luxembourg.

On Thursday, the BGH (the German federal court of justice) suspended the proceedings in a competition law suit brought by the state-run lottery company of North-Rhine Westphalia (West-Lotto) against a private internet gambling provider. The judges in Karlsruhe have referred to the European Court of Justice as many as four questions concerning the compliance of the German legal regime with EU law (resolution of 24 Jan. 2013, court ref. I ZR 171/10 – digibet).  In the order for reference, the issues in discussion are the two regulatory systems which currently are in place simultaneously in Germany. The regulations of the GlSpielG SH (Schleswig-Holstein gambling act) and the GlüStV (inter-state treaty on gambling) concluded by all other federal states vary considerably, in particular in the area of internet gambling.

Please find the whole English article on timelaw.de

The German original version is published here

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