But the project could still fail in the last few meters – in the state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt. But what happens if not all federal states agree to the new State Treaty on Gaming? Will everything stay the same? For years, online gambling was illegal in many German federal states, or at least in a legal gray area. Only Schleswig-Holstein granted gaming licenses to selected gaming providers on its own – an unacceptable condition for the federal government. But many years passed before politicians took up the issue and finally adopted a nationwide uniform set of rules. But the renowned state treaty on gaming in Germany is now threatened with end. Choose the best online casinos for Germany here.
State parliaments have to wave through the State Treaty on Gambling
The State Treaty on Gambling had almost reached its goal. But now there is still the risk that the new nationwide State Treaty on Gaming will fail. The state treaty currently has to pass through the state parliaments. Of 16 federal states, at least 13 federal states must agree so that nothing stands in the way of practical implementation.
The federal state of Saxony-Anhalt must definitely agree. Because here the current plans envisage the establishment of a gambling authority. More precisely, an authority is to be created there that will take on all the responsibilities of a licensing and supervisory authority, especially in the online area, across national borders. The problem: Exactly this area is now politically inconsistent – the nationwide gambling contract is threatened with failure.
SPD parliamentary group has reservations
The SPD parliamentary group in Saxony-Anhalt does not want to make a final decision at this point in time as to whether the State Treaty on Gambling will be approved or not. However, timely approval is imperative, since the new state treaty on gaming in Germany is to come into force on July 1, 2021. The domestic political spokesman for the parliamentary group, Rüdiger Erben, expressed himself verbatim as follows:
“Today I can neither say that we will approve the State Treaty without any problems, nor can I say that we reject it”.
Furthermore, Erben points out that within the SPD parliamentary group there is a fear of legitimizing something that has actually been illegal for many years. If the nationwide State Treaty on Gambling fails as a result in Saxony-Anhalt, then complex negotiations and years of work are initially in vain. Then one would have to start all over again and risk that months or even years would pass in which state regulation does not take place or is only inadequate.
There has been a transitional regulation since October 2020
As we reported, a so-called transitional regulation of the State Treaty on Gaming has been in place since mid-October 2020. The gaming providers should adhere to this in order to have the chance of a German gaming license this year. Among other things, a monthly deposit limit of 1,000 euros is to apply to the “normal player” and the maximum round bet is to be limited to one euro for slot machines.
DAK boss criticizes “new” deposit limit
While many a gaming provider argues that the monthly deposit limit of 1,000 euros is too low for many players, health insurance companies criticize a limit that is too high. Andreas Storm is the head of the third largest health insurance company in Germany and expresses concern about the general deposit limit, which hardly takes into account the individual financial situation of the players. Specifically, he expresses himself as follows:
“I think it is very, very important that mechanisms are built in that ensure that people do not lose an unacceptably large part of their income through online gambling, so to speak”.
If Saxony-Anhalt rejects the State Treaty on Gambling, then according to the DAK boss you have the opportunity to renegotiate some aspects of the State Treaty. In this case, however, it is also clear that the renegotiations will take significantly longer and the law is no longer expected to come into force in the summer of this year.
SPD undecided, Greens want to act
Back to the state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt. While the SPD parliamentary group still wants to keep all options open at the moment, the Greens have a clearer position. The Greens spokesman Sebastian Striegel thinks it is better to have an interstate gambling treaty in the first place than to have no regulation at all. So the tenor of the party is that, although they are not completely satisfied with the planned State Treaty on Gambling, they would rather act than lose more time. Striegel finds clear words on this:
“The patchwork quilt that arose in particular as a result of the fact that the state of Schleswig-Holstein withdrew from the agreements with other federal states a few years ago is not at all viable”.
CDU wants to agree
The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is the strongest political party in Saxony-Anhalt with 30 out of 87 seats. The Christian Democrats are currently saying that the State Treaty will be approved because it is seen as a good way to finally create legal certainty . In addition, the agreed player and youth protection rules are rated as successful, so that the CDU, unlike the SPD, has no stomach ache in agreeing to the agreement.
Coalition partner meeting planned
In order to prevent the new State Treaty on Gambling from failing because of the SPD parliamentary group, the coalition partners want to sit down and discuss again this month. Should the SPD parliamentary group still not be convinced, the nationwide state gambling treaty threatens. In this case, completely new negotiations would have to be carried out and an agreement would no longer be expected this year.
With the introduction of the nationwide State Treaty on Gambling, the state would finally have the opportunity to regulate online gambling itself. In addition, tax revenues in the millions would be expected if the state issued licenses itself instead of letting the gaming providers operate with foreign licenses. However, the skepticism of the SPD parliamentary group in Saxony-Anhalt could now bring the entire project to failure. Without the approval of the Social Democrats, the state treaty could not be waved through by the state parliament in Saxony-Anhalt. Since the nationwide gaming authority is to be established here, approval from this state would be essential. In total, at least 13 out of 16 federal states have to agree – and very soon. After all, after ratification by the state parliaments, the new state treaty should come into force on July 1, 2021.