The new State Treaty on Gambling makes it possible in Germanyy. Soon online poker and other online games of chance will no longer be prohibited in Germany. It will come into force in exactly 11 months’ time. Until then, a number of transitional regulations will apply, which will make life a little easier for reputable online casinos. After the tough agreement on this gambling treaty, the Prime Ministers of the individual federal states wanted to relinquish their responsibilities as soon as possible. It was therefore decided that a joint gaming authority should be set up. The heads of state quickly agreed on a location for this new authority: Saxony-Anhalt. That answered at least one question. Almost all other important questions remain unanswered. The exact location is also not yet certain and what the financing will look like is still in the stars.
Kristin Heiss has a seat in the state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt. She is a finance politician on the left and thus belongs to the current opposition. On the one hand, she is very pleased with the joint gaming authority of the federal states, especially in view of the fact that this authority is to be located in Saxony-Anhalt.
Ultimately, that creates new jobs – 110 in all. On the other hand, there are a number of questions going through her head that no one has been able to answer properly before. For example, it is a great mystery to her whether a building should be built for the many new employees or rather rented, and also whether this authority or this office will become a state property. Question after question, but currently everything still seems to be open. Kristin Heiss is currently finding the whole situation pretty exciting: “We also ask ourselves where do the people come from? Are they people from Saxony-Anhalt, are they people from other federal states? And what exactly are they doing there? “
In response to press inquiries, the Saxony-Anhalt Ministry of the Interior, which is now responsible for setting up the new gaming authority, declared that “… one of the tasks of the new authority will be the supervision of Internet gaming”. In addition, it was stated that this authority will start working on July 1st next year – initially only in stages. That’s in just eleven months. Which means something like: the time to prepare is extremely tight. This is the opinion of the Left MP Kristin Heiss. Although there is a basic agreement on Saxony-Anhalt as the home of the new authority, no agreement has yet been reached on a specific location. Kristin Heissed another question:
“The financing is of course exciting. Because, at least in the budget of the Ministry of the Interior, we haven’t found a position for it. So neither for the expenditures yet to be made, such an authority must first be set up, as well as the income that may then come from other countries. “
According to the information provided by the Ministry of the Interior of Saxony-Anhalt, a resolution has already been passed on which all of the minister-presidents have agreed. The financing is to run through the so-called “Königsteiner key”. Both the population and the tax revenue of the individual federal states are taken into account.
Kay Barthel is the President of the State Audit Office of Saxony-Anhalt. For him, the answer from the Ministry of the Interior is only partially correct. In a written statement, he criticized the fact that many questions were still open. What interests him most is who bears the costs for the construction and whether this has to be an advance payment by Saxony-Anhalt. He warns and demands an urgent clarification of all open points in order to “… minimize financial risks”.
But there are other voices too. For example that of the member of the state parliament, Rüdiger Erben (SPD). In his view, all of these authority considerations are secondary. His criticism has a completely different origin: “I think that’s not an issue that can now be sold as a great success. This is an authority that is ultimately supposed to legalize the illegal activities that one has not got under control. “In addition, he insists:” I would have liked the focus of the negotiations of the state government of Saxony-Anhalt had been on How do we fight gambling addiction better and how do we protect the players and not, the gambling authority takes its seat in Saxony-Anhalt. “
Even if the new State Treaty on Gambling has the approval of all 16 Prime Ministers, the necessary decision by the state parliaments is still missing. However, this is true only as a matter of form.
However, Schwarz sees Rüdiger Erben for the approval of his parliamentary group: “One thing is clear to us, and that is also the case in SPD parliamentary groups in other federal states: Without significantly improved player protection in the law, we will not consent to the state treaty give. And now it is mainly the Ministry of the Interior and the State Chancellery in Saxony-Anhalt who have to make proposals. “
Erben is not alone in his criticism. In March of this year, a number of associations came together and wrote to the country leaders calling on them to “… extend the current State Treaty on Gaming”. They demanded that player protection should be given much more prominence in the new contract. The advisory board for gambling addiction, which is an independent society that advises the countries on these issues, signed the letter at the time. The German Addiction Society, the Federal Association of Addiction Aid Institutions and Caritas Addiction Aid were also there.