Gambling law in Germany — an update

Taylor Wessing’s Paul Voigt considers whether recent changes to German gambling laws will survive challenge and the Schleswig Holstein legacy.

2012 was an exciting year for German gambling law. The existing German gambling regulation from 2008 was replaced by the new German “Interstate Treaty on Gambling 2012” (ISTG).

The passage of the ISTG has been quite an effort – it should have entered into force in January 2012. However, the EU Commission was critical of certain aspects of it, which resulted in a delay to its implementation for a further six months. Although the ISTG allows private providers to accept sports wagers (including those placed online) and includes further provisions which act to further liberalise the German gambling industry (especially in respect of lotteries), it still stipulates a general state monopoly for games of chance and a general ban on online gambling. This was the case under the previous gambling regime. Since July 2012, the ISTG has been effective in each of the federal states, save for Schleswig Holstein…

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