02/23/2012 : TIPP24 REENTERS GERMANY MARKET
New brand Lotto24 launched
Germany's formerly leading online lottery broker Tipp24 has re-launched on the German market with a new website branded Lotto24.de following a protracted legal battle with monopoly-minded German states.
The re-launch in Germany was made possible by new gaming legalization in the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein.
Following the failure of the German State Treaty on games of chance in 2011, the ruling coalition in the province of Schleswig-Holstein passed its own gaming legalization, reopening the market.
A Tipp24 spokesman said this week that the operations of Lotto24 will be managed by Tipp24 Deutschland GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tipp24 SE. It will be brokering tickets for its partner, NordwestLotto, the state lottery company in Schleswig-Holstein.
Dr. Hans Cornehl, CEO of Tipp24 SE, commented: "Schleswig-Holstein has re-opened the market for online brokerage. The other federal states must now demonstrate that they can grant brokers of state-run lotteries equally non-discriminatory market access in line with EU law."
Petra von Strombeck, chief marketing officer of Tipp24 SE, said that Lotto24 currently targets customers domiciled or habitually resident in Schleswig Holstein. However, following an extensive legal examination, the company assumes that now Schleswig-Holstein has opened the market for online brokers, the bans in Germany's other states are no longer applicable under EU law and participation is therefore allowed throughout Germany.
New national legalization regarding online lottery brokerage is expected to be passed in summer this year.
In a political backgrounder, Tipp24 recalls that Schleswig-Holstein's state premier Carstensen expressed considerable reservations about the Draft State Treaty on Games of Chance back in 2006, and his views have now been vindicated.
"The German gaming legalization introduced in 2008 was rejected by the European Court of Justice in 2010 and has so far led to lost revenues of around Euro 14 billion for the German state," the backgrounder claims.
"After the majority of German states declared that they wanted to make only minor amendments to the State Treaty, Schleswig-Holstein decided to draft its own more liberal legalization.
"Following a positive examination by the European Commission, the new state law was ratified by Schleswig-Holstein's parliament in Kiel in September 2011.
"The other 15 state premiers, however, could only agree on a Draft State Treaty in late 2011. A prerequisite for ratification of their treaty by the various state parliaments, however, is a ‘final positive opinion' from Brussels – something which is still missing.
"In summer, the European Commission heavily criticized the draft presented by the 15 states. According to the draft, brokers of state-run lotteries would need to get 32 permits in 15 states, without there being any clear criteria or legal claim to such permits.
"Germany's federal states are therefore once again clearly contravening the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and the demands of the European Commission."
Industry reports indicate that Tipp24 is not the only gambling group that finds the enlightened approach to online gambling in Schleswig Holstein attractive – it is said that more than eighty five licence applications have been submitted to the breakaway German state, creating a workload headache for the regulators.