Today, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) concluded in the “Ince” Case (C-336/14) that Germany must not impose sanctions against operators on the basis of the German online gambling legislation that has already been found to be against EU law by national Courts. The current Interstate Treaty with its experimental clause de facto prolongs the monopoly and consequently violates EU law.

The CJEU judgment follows the previous ruling of the Higher Administrative Court of Hesse suspending the granting of licenses under the German Interstate Treaty on Gambling. These rulings at both EU and national level effectively render the Interstate Treaty defunct.

Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA, said: “Today’s ruling emphatically confirmed that the German online gambling regime reached a practical and legal dead end. The CJEU ruled the experimental clause for sports betting introduced in 2012 has failed to remedy the incompatibility with EU law. This means the German online gambling regime still violates EU law and cannot be enforced.

He added: “The European Commission must now swiftly open an infringement case against Germany to ensure it changes its course rather than persists with the failed Interstate Treaty. A comprehensively and cautiously prepared reconsideration of the legal framework, which needs to be carefully adapted to the realities of the Digital 21st century, will allow German consumers access to a competitive and regulated online offer under the protective umbrella of German legislation. Existing regulation in Schleswig-Holstein, the proposal put forward by Hesse as well as other European regulatory models like the Danish one can provide good inspiration for successful regulation.”

Source: CJEU: German sports betting regulation continues being in breach of EU law | EGBA