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JAXX AG : State Treaty on gaming: JAXX SE welcomes course adopted by Prime Ministers but doubts compatibility with EU law

10/28/2011 | 11:15am US/Eastern

State Treaty on gaming: JAXX SE welcomes course adopted by Prime Ministers but doubts compatibility with EU law

Kiel, October 28, 2011 - JAXX SE (ISIN DE000A0JRU67) welcomes yesterday's resolution by the 15 Prime Ministers of the federal states to liberalise the gaming market in Germany to a greater extent than had previously been planned. The significant reduction in the concession fee from 17 to 5 percent of betting stakes would be particularly welcome for the JAXX Group's betting shop business, which is operated under the brand. In that respect JAXX would be among those standing to gain from this draft.

However, even the revised draft does not meet the standards of European and constitutional law. The continuing restriction to an arbitrary 20 licences, the ban on online casino and poker games and the argument that the lottery monopoly can be justified by the need to combat addiction are attributes that have come in for stiff criticism from the EU Commission and the courts. Schleswig-Holstein therefore logically abstained from yesterday's vote.

As became apparent on the fringes of the conference, the agreement is still subject to the reservations of individual states which expressed their misgivings about its compatibility with European law. The aspects outstanding are to be clarified by the next conference, which will take place in mid-December and at which the State Treaty on gaming is to be signed.

JAXX Management Board spokesman Mathias Dahms commented:

'The resolution by the 15 Prime Ministers is an initial step towards introducing a market-driven gaming system in Germany. It just doesn't go far enough. And it will not stand up to scrutiny under European and constitutional law. The ban on casino and poker games will push more people towards the black market. Using the addiction prevention argument to justify the lottery monopoly will lead to a blanket ban on lottery advertising and consequently cause the collapse of German lottery companies. The main sticking points that the EU Commission severely criticised in its detailed statement of position were not addressed. We therefore expect to see the EU Commission launch fresh infringement proceedings.

We stand by our view that the law already passed by Schleswig-Holstein is an exemplary, market-driven model that is compatible with European law. The bridge across which Prime Minister Beck hopes to entice Schleswig-Holstein's Prime Minister Peter-Harry Carstensen would come crashing down after just a few steps.'

About JAXX:
JAXX SE, listed in the Prime Standard of Deutsche Börse, is a financial holding company with holdings in international companies in the gaming industry. JAXX currently holds interests in companies in Germany, the UK, Spain, Austria, Malta and Belgium. JAXX SE has its headquarters in Kiel. The holding companies cover the entire spectrum of the games and gambling industry. Depending on national regulatory structures, they broker or market sports and horse betting, lotteries, and casino and poker games. The shares of JAXX SE have been traded at Deutsche Börse since 1999 under ISIN DE000A0JRU67.

Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
Stefan Zenker
Tel. +49 (40) 85 37 88 47
Fax +49 (40) 85 37 88 30

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