German Online Sports Betting Laws Slammed Again

Published Wednesday, May 18, 2016 -
German Online Sports Betting Laws Slammed Again

After an amended Interstate Treaty on German online gambling laws instituted in July of 2012, a nationwide licensing process for sports betting was made mandatory. Now as of the 4th of February 2016 the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has ruled in favour of European Union licensed bookmakers as a result of the judgment rendered in case Ince (C-336/14). The online gambling legal situation in Germany is a constantly changing area of debate. The judgment points out that the various German states have not replaced the state monopoly on sports betting with any kind of transparent and fair licensing system as required by the EU law on free trade including e-commerce among member nations.  Although the licensing process is a key part of the Interstate Treaty on Gambling in Germany there have been no online sports betting licenses issued as yet.
This up and down cat and mouse game that the German courts are going through with the European Court of Justice on the matter of monopolistic online gambling violations is bringing into question the entire effectiveness of the rules regarding internet sports betting and the enforcement of them in a timely manner. There was a nationwide tender for as many as 20 sports-betting licenses based on the so-called “experimental clause” provided for in the Interstate Treaty. The German states maintain that the reason for this clause is to evaluate the market for internet sports betting in Germany.

The E.U. Court of Justice concluded that the licensing regime including the ‘clause’ has not remedied the incompatibility of German restrictions to online sports betting with EU law. The illegal state monopoly on online gambling on sports has persisted so regulators are unable by law to restrict unauthorised operations of sports betting. The failure of Germany’s legal system to realize it must make the necessary changes to online sports betting laws sooner than later is just a camel sticking its head in the sand.

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