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Germany Discussing a Liberalized Online Gaming Regime

  • German stakeholders discuss a liberalization in the country's online gaming legislation.

Last month, the Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU) ruled against the Germany's restrictive online gaming laws, which will likely require a complete overhaul of the country's gaming legislation. It appears many key players are already reacting to this news, as last week in Berlin the topic was discussed in detail at the German Association of Internet Businesses symposium.

According to, the event was attended by a vast array of stakeholders, including industry and media representatives, legal experts, politicians, and academics.

Most of the stakeholders agreed that a complete overhaul was necessary with many favoring a proposal by Hesse Minister-President Peter Beuth, which includes a reasonable tax rate on gross gaming revenues and a removal of restrictions on the amount of licenses. The proposal is believed to be similar to the gaming regime in Germany's northern-state of Schleswig-Holstein, which has been approved by the European Union.

Despite many agreeing that Beuth's proposal makes sense, it could take some time before we see any progress, as is often the case with any political process. To complicate matters further, some stakeholders believe legislation should be led by the national government, while others, including former Minister President of Schleswig-Holstein, Peter-Harry Carstensen, believes the 16 German states should be taking the lead.

Some believe, however, we could see a liberalized online gaming regime in place in Germany sooner rather than later, including Parliamentary Secretary of the Christian Democratic Union in Schleswig-Holstein Hans-Jorn Arp, who stated, "2016 will be a year of discussion, and 2017 a year of decision."

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