Interstate Treaty on Lotteries: Not signed, but passed by majority vote

Rechtsanwalt Martin Arendts, M.B.L.-HSG

Arendts Rechtsanwälte
Perlacher Str. 68
D - 82031 Grünwald (bei München)
The prime ministers of the 16 German states did not sign the controversial draft of the Interstate Treaty on Lotteries (Lotterie-Staatsvertrag) at their conference in Berlin today. Against the single vote of the prime minister of Schleswig-Holstein, that is 15 : 1, it was however decided to have the Treaty signed by the prime ministers in an circulation procedure at the beginning of next year, in order to have it subsequently be notified to the European Commission. The prime minister of Rhineland-Palatinate Kurt Beck announced that 15 states agreed to go on with the Interstate Treaty, despite the fact that Schleswig-Holstein did not consent.

The states intend to newly regulate gambling law with the new Interstate Treaty on Lotteries, as the Federal Constitutional Court declared the present legal situation not to be consistent with constitutional law in March 2006. The Treaty shall not only regulate lotteries, but also sports betting and contains rules on casinos as well. According to the majority vote the state monopoly on sports betting and gambling will be upheld further four year, beginning with 1 January 2008.

The state government in Kiel (capital of Schleswig-Hostein) justifies its rejection with doubts related to Community as well as anti-trust law and favours to await the outcome of the infringement proceedings in Brussels and the upcoming decision of the European Court of Justice (Placanica Case). The prime minister of Schleswig-Holstein, Peter Harry Carstensen, declared: ?Today I refused to set my signature under the Treaty.? He nonetheless kept the option to accede to the contract within the next months after all.