|According to reports in Germany’s Der Spiegel newspaper, the European Commission may have broken the impasse between German states defending their online gambling monopolies against gambling companies from other EU nations and EU policies requiring free access to goods and services between EU nations.|
German states have energetically opposed intrusion on their monopolies by foreign betting companies but were informed earlier in the year by the European Commission that denying access to companies from other EU nations could result in legal action.
Europe’s largest newspaper claims that Charlie McCreevy, the European Commissioner in charge of Internal Markets and Services, has proposed a compromise solution that would see the 16 German states retain sole authority over lotteries and casino gambling in return for opening up German sports betting activities to private companies. The Irishman is responsible for setting the EU’s policy on the functioning of an overall market of some 480 million people spread across 27 member states and presumably the concession would involve sports betting within as well as outside Germany but confined to companies within EU states.
Der Spiegel stated that the European Commission would ‘in no way challenge the existence and continuation of the states’ monopolies on lotteries and other forms of gambling’ in return for an opening up of the sports betting market but it is not yet known whether the German states are receptive to McCreevy’s proposal.