GlüstV in NRW: Criticism of implementation

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Peter Brandt 8. April 2021

The ratification of the new Game State Treaty could fail in NRW due to persistent disagreement. As early as July 1, 2021, the new legal framework for the gaming market is to come into force. Only three federal states still have to agree to one internal implementation. In North Rhine -Westphalia, advice was already being given in the state parliament. Despite some disagreements between the games, the new legislation was agreed. However, this could change again after the latest development, since the opposition SPD sharply criticizes the government’s unknown solo by the government.

The new GlüstV wants to strengthen player and youth protection through minimum distances between the casinos. ((© Katjasv/Pixabay)

A self -awakening amendment of the glow

In North Rhine-Westphalia, the CDU and FDP coalition rules. In the opinion of the SPD, the two games should be the approved implementation plan for the new State Treaty (GlüStV) have changed without consultation with the opposition parties. It was only on March 1, 2021 that the NRW state parliament in the collective was discussed how the ratification of the glowing in the state was to be ratified. Even experts and associations had their say who work in the gambling industry. These gave their know -how and their assessments to ensure the best possible implementation. After a few discrepancies, all parts involved were able to agree.

However, the decided content for the implementation has now been changed by the CDU and FDP. SPD finance expert Stefan Zimheit should, according to the “WestAmerican Zeitung” blame the pressure by lobbyists. The modification of the modalities should specifically affect the minimum distances between the individual casinos.

Final spurt for Gaming State Treaty. In a few weeks, the new GlüstV should come into force and finally standardize the local market. At the present time, 13 of the 16 federal states have given the new legal framework their consent. This generally reached the minimum goal, but there are still three decisions with Saarland, Saxony-Anhalt and North Rhine-Westphalia. With a positive ratification, the last two countries in particular should send an important signal to the future gambling landscape. NRW is the most populous federal state in USA and embodies an important status. Saxony-Anhalt, on the other hand, is supposed to house the new supervisory authority. A negation of the glowing would be accordingly catastrophic.

Minimum distance regulation causes trouble

The minimum distance regulation, which is anchored in the Gaming State Treaty, is intended to ensure that arcades, casinos and betting shops shape the cityscape in a reasonable setting do not represent a oversupply of gambling. In addition, the individual establishments are encouraged to maintain a certain distance from high schools in order not to tempt minors and young adults. The parties in the NRW state parliament had together on one Minimum distance of 350 meters agreed. However, this agreement has now been reduced by the black and yellow coalition to 100 meters.

Stefan Zimheit is sharply criticized by the government and is puzzled in view of the contradictory approach. The state parliament had actually promised the potential reduction of the minimum distance through a statute – in exceptional cases. Now, however, this possibility had been extended to the whole country. The financial expert of the Social Democrats also sees the opening for multiple concessions The risk that the number of arcades, casinos and betting shops will increase again. This development would destroy the efforts of the NRW state government to reduce the mass of gambling facilities. So it was possible to reduce the inventory by 13 percent between 2012 and 2020. Also In other federal states be a similar development.

State interests before player protection? The North Rhine-Westphalian government, which was in SPD hand until 2017, has been fighting for gambling institutions for some time. The reduction of 13 percent is accordingly celebrated as a great profit, which, from the perspective of the current SPD, is in danger of changing the black and yellow coalition due to the unauthorized change. Due to the reduction of the minimum distance from 350 to 100 meters, the state interests would be provided against the protection of the players.

Fruited legalization of online gambling?

Another criticism of the North Rhine-Westphalian SPD is the legalization of online gambling. MP Elisabeth Müller-Witt does not oppose the opening of the online offer per se, but in view of the planned schedule by entering into force and the supervisory authority should start work, the liberalization of the online segment would be significantly too early. This means that no extensive regulation could be guaranteed, since the structures of the authority would first have to be set up.

Regulation is a must. Despite renewed disagreements between the games in North Rhine -Westphalia, everyone involved agreed that the planned liberalization of the gaming market is the right step. The opening of the industry with associated regulatory measures would contribute significantly more to player and youth protection than a strict ban. A restrictive attitude of politics would only mean that the players migrate to the black market. The current situation around the Corona Lockdown shows how quickly the illegal gambling can win.