Germany Delays Gambling Plans
By James Mc
Reports emerging from the Bloomberg news service suggest that Germany's states have postponed plans to introduce a law upholding a state monopoly on gambling that may banish private lottery agents and sports betting companies.

According to Christian Wulff, prime minister of Lower Saxony, state ministers, who met in Germany yesterday, have agreed to sign the proposal next year to extend state monopolies on gambling for a further four years and notify the European Union's Commission of the decision. Wulff also told journalists at a press conference in Berlin yesterday that the planned new law will come into effect in January, 2008.

In March of this year, The Federal Constitutional Court on ruled that the German states can only uphold their monopoly if they boost efforts to fight gambling addiction. This has already lead to the banning of Austrian online gaming operator Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG, plus the boycotting of Fluxx AG to drive out competition.

“The constitutional court gave us clear guidance, 'Wulff said. “We want to prevent the creation of gambling addiction and fight existing addiction effectively.'

Gaming groups such as Bwin will be looking to the European Court of Justice, which is soon to disclose whether EU member states can outlaw gaming and betting operations licensed in another member state.

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