German Monopolies Here to Stay?

28 March 2007

In a conference last weekend in Wiesbaden, Germany, the 16 national sports federations and the German Olympic committee affirmed that "the monopolistic position of sports betting should be maintained in the German States."

The conference of the national sport federations affirmed herewith the resolution of the Presidents of the 16 German states, who in autumn 2006 decided that Germany should remain a monopolistic gambling system, run by the states.

Above that, the German Lotto and Toto Block (the close cooperation of the German 16 Lotto and Toto organizations) welcomed the statement of Christian Wulff, the Premier of Lower Saxony, that the agreement between the 16 states will come into force as intended on Jan. 1, 2008. "In their statement on the draft of the state contract, the European Union commission did not mention the fundamental validity of the gambling monopoly in doubts", said Dr. Friedhelm Repnik, managing director of the national Toto Lotto GmbH Baden-Wuerttemberg and coordinator of all German Lotto and Toto-block members.

The German Constitutional Court gave the monopolists until the end of 2007 to resolve the gambling situation in Germany, either by opening a complete free market or a full monopoly that can neither promote nor advertise.

Last week, IGN reported that German Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen had written a letter to the German federal states, warning them that their draft agreement to restrict sports betting to state monopolies needs to be changed within 30 days.

Rob van der Gaast has a background in sports journalism. He worked for over seven years as the head of sports for Dutch National Radio and has developed new concepts for the TV and the gambling industry. Now he operates from Istanbul as an independent gambling research analyst. He specializes in European gambling matters and in privatizations of gambling operators. Rob has contributed to IGN since Jul 09, 2001.