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After an year of the amended German Interstate Gambling Treaty, restrictive opening of the market is set to fail

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The trade body that represents the majority of the European online betting companies, the European Gaming and Betting Association, has presented a statement that offers a pessimistic outlook of the Germany’s sports betting restricted market opening. According to it, one year on, the development still has a long way to go.

This confirms the concerns of leading gaming companies in Europe and the EC related to the regulation in Germany and its implementation,” comments the trade association.

The Interstate Treaty on Gambling in its amended variant was enforced on the 1st of July 2012. It heralded the gambling reformation in Germany after the European Court of Justice announced that the regulation in Germany infringed upon the 2010 law in Germany.

As the treaty dictates, the market will only open to twenty providers of sports betting for a period spanning over seven years. In doing so, the aim of the Treaty included combating gambling addiction and channeling the black market.

The immediate concerns of the European Commission was about the regulation in Germany, and in particular in relation to the limited number of operators and the failure of the Treaty to consider casino and online poker games.

The failure of the Commission is in seeing how the overall number of licenses and their restriction is a proper means to reach the set goals. Combined with the imposed on the sports betting regulation narrow boundaries, the limitation makes it hard to present and an attractive offer for online sports betting in Germany.

According to EGBA these Commission’s concerns appear to be confirmed. Only just one year in effect, the new sports betting regulating has proven its success, and a single year from the seven year period is already at an end without any providers of sports betting being granted an admission into the market.

The selected by federal state leaders procedure for the issuing of twenty licenses for sports betting does not meet the requirement of the EU: it has not been successful in providing candidates with transparent, clear and reliable information that concerns the criteria of the tender to be used, pointed out the trade association.

All this has led to a number of lawsuits by providers as well as numerous license awards postponements by the administration. It remains not clear exactly when the licenses will be awarded, and the expectation of the authorities is for up to 80 legal proceedings that involve both licence holders and unsuccessful applicants.

Additionally, providers of online casino and poker and not part of the limited market opening, regardless of the fact that the segment represents a substantially larger portion of the market than that of sports betting.

The EGBAs general secretary Maarten Haijer said on Friday, There were a large number of questions raised in concern of sports betting in Germany and they remain unanswered, regardless of the fact that there has been a tender procedure running for months already.

Even if successfully allocated, it will result in regulation of the market that will be disadvantageous for everyone that takes part not only for authorities and providers but also for professional and amateur sports and the sector for advertising, which closely depend on betting providers.

The sluggish process for the allocation of licenses demonstrates how problematic the regulatory model that has been chosen truly is. It is the belief of EGBA that the concerns of the EC can be resolved only if the approach for regulation is revised in full or the tender procedure begins anew once more.

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