Private betting-operators to be licensed in Schleswig-Holstein?

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

Arendts Rechtsanwälte
Perlacher Str. 68
D - 82031 Grünwald (bei München)
The Christian Democratic Party (CDU) in the parliament of the State of Schleswig-Holstein wants to open the market for sports betting to private operators by introducing a new licensing model. With this in mind, the Christian Democratic Party proposed a dual interstate treaty system dealing with lotteries and sports betting separately.

According to a proposal elaborated by Hans-Jörn Arp (CDU), private operators are to be licensed on conditions regarding the protection of minors and addiction prevention. Operators are to add warnings about problem gambling on the slips. A system of limits is to restrict the amount of the wager and a special file restricting addicts from betting is to be installed on a federal level. The states were to profit from this model as well. Private operators are supposed to pay a part of their revenues as license fees to the states. The money could then be used to „fund public or tax-deductible goals“.

The Christian Democratic Party plans to introduce its draft for parliamentary debate after consultations with its coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party (SPD). The proposals could thus become integral part of a new Interstate Treaty, which could already be introduced for the conference of the state prime ministers in Berlin on 22 March 2007.

Hans-Jörn Arp, member of the Schleswig-Holstein parliament, spoke out very critically against the draft for a new Interstate Treaty on Gambling as proposed by the other states. He already fears that the state Toto- und Lottoblock could break apart: „After the evaluation of the draft of the Interstate Treaty more and more former advocates of the monopoly start to understand what a bad deal this is. The unity of the Toto- und Lottoblock (association of state operators) regarding this Interstate Treaty is about to break apart. And rightly so: the new Interstate Treaty on lotteries destroys our developed lottery system more severely than any licensing model ever could.“ The CEO of Lower Saxony’s Toto-Lotto, Rolf Stypmann, had summed it up very precisely: Due to the new Interstate Treaty on Gambling Lotto and Toto are threatened with extinction because of the monstrous and impracticable regulations. He almost felt stigmatised as a drug trafficker. Even old and established Toto was now considered dangerous. Hereto Arp: „Against this background, it would be more than understandable, if the Toto- und Lottoblock will refuse to offer sports betting in the future. But this also means: The states‘ revenues from levies and fees will drop as dramatically as the means for the funding of culture and sports.“