Merkur Casino’s subsidiary in Osnabrück, Lower Saxony, has been told that it is in violation of new laws requiring a minimum distance between competing arcades and a general education school.
A gaming facility owned by a competitor is the cause of the distance conflict. Because the distance between the arcades is less than 100 meters, it was necessary to make a choice. The competent authority refused permission because the Merkur casino branch is 11.1 meters closer to a general education school than the competitor’s facility.
Merkur then immediately initiated interim legal protection proceedings. It requested permission to continue operating the branch in question until the main proceedings came to an end. The Osnabrück Administrative Court granted this application. On June 1, new laws requiring a minimum distance of 100 meters between individual venues went into effect.
“The location of our Merkur Casino branch in Osnabrück operated without interruption since 1996 and should have closed due to the refusal notice of the authorities on February 1, 2021,” said Tassia Giannopoulos, Deputy Head of the Legal Department of Gaming Operations at Merkur Casino.
A final decision is expected on April 26, 2021. Merkur is optimistic about the case’s future, despite serious concerns about the legality of the selection process. Ms Giannopoulos stated that the Merkur Casino subsidiary’s success in the main proceedings cannot rule out.
Even though the current decision isn’t legally binding, she sees the future course of the proceedings as positive. The competent authority has filed a complaint with the Lüneburg Higher Administrative Court in response to the decision. This, as well as the complaint’s outcome, will have to wait and see.