Germany Tweaks Online Gambling Licensing Laws

Published Saturday, March 26, 2016 -
Germany Tweaks Online Gambling Licensing Laws

Germany is a jurisdiction where the online gambling industry is having a difficult time sorting out the rules of engagement. In a recent move that appears to attempt to quell the turmoil in the gambling industry Germany’s 16 state-level prime ministers have approved a plan backed by the state-run lottery that would double the number of nationally-issued online sports betting operator’s licenses. The European Union’s most prosperous member is confusing the rules of free trade among nations with the German State Treaty on Gambling disregarding the criticism leveled at the system by the European Court of Justice.  Last November, a court in the German state of Hesse ruled the process of application for online-gambling licenses was “contrary to the requirements for a lawful restriction on the freedom to provide services,” contravening European Union treaty agreements.

There is a new attitude coming from the inspiration caused by the Hess court ruling which has advanced the online gambling industry in Europe and in Germany by galvanizing and highlighting the true nature of protectionism in this particular sector. The 2012 online gambling licensing process was basically ruled unconstitutional, because of its opacity and bias.  Small Germany-based operators were approved while other major European gambling firms were denied licenses without reason. At this juncture an overhaul the German 2012 gambling treaty would be the most prudent move for the lawmakers but that has not been the case the actions has set up a yet another round of formal complaints and litigation with the European Court of Justice. The increase in the number of online gambling licenses from 20 to 40, while leaving all the other non compliant restrictions in place is placatory at best.   

It was noted that State-run lotteries the world over have viewed online gambling as a competitive.  Officials of Germany’s lottery industry have backed the latest legislative actions.



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