The adult gaming centre legislation of the German federal states – chaos or unison?

Since 2006 the federal states in Germany have legislative competence over laws concerning adult gaming centres. It was first used 5 years later by the states Bremen and Berlin, when their laws for adult gaming centres came into effect in May and June 2011 respectively. The law for adult gaming centres of the state Schleswig-Holstein, which became effective on April 4th 2012, followed. The new State Treaty on Gambling in Germany for 2012 came into effect on July 1st 2012; it uniformly regulates location-based aspects of adult gaming centres for all German states. In addition, there are further adult gaming centre and implementing laws of the respective states, so that for the first time there are regulations for commercial machine gaming in place, which aim at a location-based limiting of the availability of gambling services in adult gaming centres and effective player protection. At first glance, the up to 17 state sources of law for adult gaming centre legislation may seem chaotic. Upon closer inspection and in spite of a certain complexity, there is a clear canon of restrictions for adult gaming centres that, in case of discrepancies in the details, the federal states have to comply with.

Published in Zeitschrift für Wett- und Glücksspielrecht (ZfWG) 2012, p. 255

Martin Reeckmann, retired senior government official, worked for the state of Berlin from 1989 to 2002 and was, in this capacity, head of the gambling division. Since 2003, he practices law as a founding partner of the law firm Reeckmann in Berlin, specializing in gambling law. From 2007 to February 2009, he was a member of the “Scientific Forum for Gambling” (Wissenschaftliches Forum Glücksspiel), which developed the method to measure and evaluate the risk potential of gambling products. Since April 2009, he represents the interests of privately owned German casinos, first as CEO, since 2010 as executive chairman of the Federal Association of Private Casinos in Germany (Bundesverband privater Spielbanken in Deutschland e.V. – BupriS). Martin Reeckmann is recognized for his numerous publications on gambling.