Court suspends sports betting licensing process in Germany

Court suspends sports betting licensing process in Germany

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The protracted struggle over the award of sports betting licences in the German state of Hesse has taken a new twist after the Administrative Court of Wiesbaden suspended the process at the eleventh hour.

The court halted the award of 20 federal licences just hours before they were due to be granted following complaints by a dozen operators that were unsuccessful in their initial applications.

The Hesse Ministry of the Interior and Sport was due to award licences to the likes of Bet-at-home, Betfair, Bwin.party, Digibet, Ladbrokes and Sportwetten.

MyBet, one of the operators that had expected to receive a licence today (Thursday), said that it could not foresee “when exactly the licences will now be issued”.

MyBet added: “All parties to the proceedings may appeal against the decision, following which the Higher Administrative Court may cancel the interim decision.”

Another successful applicant for a licence, Oddset, said that it was “very disappointed” by the development.

However, Tipico one of 21 operators to have had their applications turned down, welcomed the decision by highlighting the company’s existing reach in the German market, with “850 betting shops and more than 5,000 staff”.

Reports have suggested that a total of 21 operators had their applications rejected, including Bet365, Betclic, BetVictor, Lottomatica and Tipico.

The initial decision to award only 20 licences was widely criticised, with German Football Association vice-president Rainer Koch telling daily newspaper Der Spiegel that such a restriction on the number of operators was “a financial disaster... right across sport”.

All of the operators were required adhere to various gambling and sports betting policies featured in the German state’s Treaty on Gambling in order to obtain a licence.

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