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Germany – German Court rejects application against closure of gambling halls

By - 11 November 2020

The 3rd Senate of the Higher Administrative Court of the State of Saxony-Anhalt has rejected the urgent application of an operator of two gaming halls in Halle (Saale) which were ordered to close from November 2, 2020 to November 30.

The Higher Administrative Court considered it open as to whether the ordinance rules meet the parliamentary reservation. With such open prospects of success, however, the consequences must be weighed up, which at the moment did not urgently require the challenged norms to be suspended.

The court said: “The closure of the gambling halls is suitable and necessary to achieve the legitimate goal of avoiding new chains of infection and, associated with this, of containing the further spread of the SARS coronavirus-CoV-2 to achieve the protection of life and health. Taking into account the broad assessment prerogatives of the legislator, the regulation is also proportionate in the narrower sense from the current point of view. In particular, the purpose of the interference is in an appropriate relationship to the associated interference with the freedom to exercise a profession. In addition, the encroachment on the operators of amusement arcades’ freedom to exercise their profession is alleviated by the fact that so-called “new corona aid” has been created for companies that are affected by the targeted, temporary measure of the “partial lockdown” existing support programs went well beyond this.”

“Even an unjustified unequal treatment of gambling halls is not linked to the regulation. The different treatment of amusement arcades and the shops, shopping centers, hairdressers, nail salons and tanning salons that are still open are based on factual reasons and justified after a summary examination of the factual and legal situation.”

Caption: A slot hall in Halle

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