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EU court shakes up German gambling market

LUXEMBOURG, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- The European Court of Justice said Germany's tight controls on gambling give the state an "unjustifiable" monopoly in the gaming businesses.

EUobserver reported Thursday that the court judged the 2008 German law that permits only state-run companies to run lotteries and other forms of gambling was "contrary to the fundamental freedoms of the European Union."

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The German law was challenged by eight online gambling companies in various regional courts, which passed the decision onto the top EU court.

Sigrid Ligne, head of the European Gaming and Betting Association, said the decision "signals the end of the German online gaming ban."

"On the contrary, the court reminded Germany that it has to control more strictly the offer of dangerous forms of gambling such as casino games and gaming machines," the lobby group European Lotteries said in a statement.

"The court pointed again to the higher risks associated with Internet gambling," the group said.

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