In a pivotal judicial battle, operators in Baden-Württemberg were defeated when their appeal against the state’s interpretation of the State Treaty on Gambling was denied. The state’s strict attitude prevents betting facilities from coexisting on the same grounds as casinos or gaming halls.
The legal fight reached the Baden-Württemberg Constitutional Court, where two cases filed by gaming companies in Karlsruhe and Rastatt took center stage. These operators claimed that the separation provision, which prohibits betting venues and gaming halls from sharing the same premises, violated their constitutional rights.
Despite the operators’ passionate arguments, the court dismissed their allegations, confirming the separation mandate’s legality. This judgement requires betting shops and gaming halls to operate in separate locations.
The infringement on professional freedom was upheld by the court as necessary for the greater good. It contended that the separation requirement serves a “reasonable purpose of the common good,” notably in terms of reducing gambling addiction and protecting public interests.
The court’s judgment was based on the view that limiting quick transfers between gaming establishments is critical. The court stated that avoiding the consolidation of various gaming products under one roof is critical to reducing compulsive behavior.
The court determined that the impositions on operators were appropriate to the overall advantages of the law after evaluating the impact on operators against the regulatory goals.
In response to charges of discrimination against operators, the court observed discrepancies but affirmed the legitimacy of the prioritizing. The law’s preference for existing gambling halls over sports betting companies was found to be compliant with the equality principle, but with pragmatic concerns.
The court emphasized the need of protecting gaming hall investments, underlining their significant contributions to the industry. It also stated that the first functioning of sports betting enterprises without licenses put them in a precarious situation.
While conceding that the favor for gaming halls was only transitory, the court put forth a plan for future balance. As the terrain changes, preference will be given to the first operator on-site, regardless of vertical.
The court upheld the state legislature’s emphasis on risk management, which is inherent in having many gaming verticals under one roof. It determined that this method was fully within the bounds of the law.
In the end, the court determined that the legal protection promise remained intact. The operators’ request to change permit priority post-displacement was denied, since the court deemed such a change vulnerable to further legal challenges.
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