German Federal Constitutional Court says current legislation is unconstitutional

Tue, 28 Mar, 2006 20:29 CET

This morning the German Federal Constitutional Court has ruled that the current German legal situation regarding sports bets and games of chance is unconstitutional as it does not effectively restrict the known issues evolving from games of chance. The Court made clear that the current monopoly is not aiming to address undesirable side affects of gaming, but is merely fiscal driven, which as such is not a legitimate reason to prevent competition from private operators like Unibet.com.

It said that the state monopoly may remain generally permissible if it meets certain requirements. The Federal Constitutional Court set a time limit for the legislator until the end of 2007 to pass new laws regarding sports bets and games of chance which meet these constitutional requirements. “This is a strategic milestone for the EU principles of the freedom to provide services and will positively affect the European gaming industry. We also hope that other states like Sweden, Italy, Holland and France finally realise that prohibition is not the answer, but proper regulation creating a level playing field for both state run and private operators, addressing compulsive gaming aspects is the way forward. Unibet is active here by proactively implementing a socially responsible gaming policy with G4, the leading anti-compulsive gambling organisation. ” “This ruling is as important as the Gambelli-ruling in November 2003. It will have a positive impact on our own court case against the Swedish State”, says Petter Nylander, CEO of Unibet.