German sports betting licensees launch legal action against Hesse – Sportsbook

Germany’s 33 licensed sports betting operators have joined forces to launch legal action to protest the strict rules governing the market.

The defendant in the lawsuit will be the State of Hesse, which will be represented by the Regional Council of Darmstadt.

“All licensees for the organization of land-based and online sports betting have filed lawsuits against individual ancillary provisions in their respective licences,” a spokesperson for the Regional Council told the iGB.

German sports betting legislation set out in the Third State Gaming Treaty has been widely criticized for putting licensed operators at a disadvantage against offshore competition.

While a limit on the number of licenses was removed following a series of court cases that delayed its entry into force from 2012 to 2020, operators still face the limitation of their in-game offer to winning markets and the total number of goals scored.

This, the German Sports Betting Association (DSWV) has already spoken out against the restrictions, with chairman Mathias Dahms warning that in-game restrictions were particularly likely to push gamblers into the black market.

“It should not be forgotten that live betting is particularly popular and represents around 60% of all bets,” he said in January 2020. “Disappointed consumers will turn to black market offers that do not respect not the legal requirements.”

In 2021, Dahms went on to note that German betting revenues had fallen from 2019’s record high of €9.3bn (£7.84bn/$9.86bn) to €7.8bn. euros after the rules are in place.

The cost of operating in the market is also particularly high. Players are limited to a monthly spending limit of €1,000 for all customers – but with limited exceptions – and operators must pay a 5.3% turnover tax.

Online sports betting licenses were issued under the country’s gambling treaty, which was only ratified in March 2019, in its third version. The licensing process was then delayed several times, first because no operator applied for a license, then by legal action by Austrian operator Vierklee, before the first licenses were finally awarded. end of 2020.

Last year, from July 1, Germany’s third state treaty was replaced by a new regulatory framework, which also made it possible to offer a nationwide online casino for the first time. , while including equally strict sports betting rules.

This treaty also includes a number of restrictive conditions for casino games, with slot bets capped at €2. Table games can only be offered separately, with states having the option of giving a monopoly to their lotteries and limiting themselves to issuing as many licenses as each has land-based casinos. As with sports betting, the 5.3% turnover tax will be levied on these products.

So far, no online casino license has been distributed.

James R. Rhodes