In 2011 the 16 German states decided to change their existing state monopoly on gambling to comply more with the European Union laws by amending the existing Gaming Treaty. According to the European Court of Justice Guidelines the Gaming Treaty did not conform to European Union law. However 15 of the states preferred to retain the state monopoly and only the state of Schleswig Holstein adopted legislation which approved by the European Union to regulate gambling.
The new laws kept the state’s monopoly for the lottery but sought to regulate other types of gambling in particular online poker and casino games. The aim was to licence online gaming operators and in so doing to protect German online gamblers. (See article : Germany Grants Online Casino Licences).The Schleswig Holstein government’s online gambling legislation was passed in September 2011 but only just by a majority of one. This gave the go ahead for the state to start issuing online gaming licences and several groups from outside Germany as well as within the country applied for these licences among them were Bwin Party and Mybet. However in February of this year when the Social Democrats were in opposition they made an attempt to have the new gambling laws repealed. Just like with the passing of these new laws, the attempt to repeal them was defeated by only one single vote.
Now, following elections the Social Democrats form a large part of the new coalition government in Schleswig Holstein and wish to return to the Gaming Treaty legislation that is law in the other 15 German states. This would lead to major problems for the online gaming companies already granted licences and who are waiting for licences for online poker and casino games;This is the situation for Bwin Party and Mybet casino. Bwin Party already has a sports betting licence granted by Schleswig Holstein and it is now waiting for its online poker and casino games licence. Since there has been a delay in the issuing of these licences the companies have filed law suits against the government since they believe the government is holding up the granting of licences. It is believed that a recent change in the attitude of certain government politicians is due to the potential huge expense to the state of these law suits from Bwin Party and Mybet and possibly even more from the other online gaming operators awaiting licences.