Regulations In Germany Are Complicated, Says Sensberg

Viktor Vangelov | Published 14 Mar 2019, 2:33 p.m.

Dr Patrick Sensberg is German MP and he has been a representative since 2009. He represents North Rhine-Westphalia. In a recent interview, Dr Sensberg stated that gambling legislation in the country is pretty complicated, mostly due to the country’s specific political system. 

There are 16 states in Germany, and gambling is regulated differently in each of them. There is no treaty on a federal level, so at this point everything is a bit grey and undefined. The main focus for legislators and lawmakers should be to regulate the market, Sensberg thinks. And if we have a look at the situation across Europe, that makes a lot of sense, since other countries are also regulating their gambling markets. Recently, Sweden regulated its market and multiple online casino licences were issued

The Grey Market Isn’t Good For Anyone

Germany is the largest country and the largest economy in Europe and its role importance is even greater in the light of Brexit. Dr Sensberg feels that the situation with the UK leaving the EU is sad, but every country and the union as a whole should adapt. Germany and all its states have to get used to the situation and address the new challenges. 

One of the reasons why Sensberg feels that regulating the market should be Germany’s first priority is the fact that the grey market isn’t good for anyone. It’s not good for the operators, it’s not good for the operators, it’s not good for the government. Players are left unprotected, operators are looking for clear terms and the governments, including both the federal authorities and the local governments, are looking to collect more tax funds. 

All Aspects Of The Industry Should Be Regulated

Sensberg didn’t just say that the market should be regulated, he had clearer instructions and ideas on how to proceed forward and what areas of the industry should be regulated first. State lotteries and sports betting should be priorities and that’s understandable, but the online sector also needs to be regulated – including online casinos, poker, and all other industry branches that aren’t currently regulated. 

In other words, Sensberg feels that the market has to be regulated as a while, every branch and every segment. And if we look at the things from a government’s perspective, it is clear that it is in the government’s best interest to collect as much tax funds as possible. So, regulation works in everybody’s favour. 

Finding A Consensus

Finding a legal consensus is easier said than done. Some states are refusing or are reluctant to adopt a position on the matter, whereas other states are pushing legalisation forward. It will be very difficult to get all or most states to align their position on gambling legalisation, but it is pretty certain that there will be a group of states that will manage to align their position and take action towards gambling legalisation. 

There is a lot of pressure to find a solution and some stakeholders are hoping that a solution will be reached by this summer, or at least by 2020. After all, it doesn’t make sense for the largest economy in the EU not to have gambling regulations in place. 

The situation in the US is slightly different, but there is an aspect that can be compared, as some states are looking to legalise various forms of gambling, whereas other are not even considering the option.