Germany to Continue Accepting Applications for Sports Betting Licensing Despite Recent Court Ruling

Recently in Germany, the Darmstadt Administrative Court blocked any issuing of sports betting licensing. Despite this ruling, the Darmstadt Regional Council continues to accept and review applications for licenses.

The Council and the Hessian Ministry of the Interior are the groups that accept, process and approve or reject applications for sports betting licenses in Germany. These groups were put in charge based on the Third State Treaty on Gambling, which came into effect on January 2020.

The law will remain in effect until July 1st of next year, when new framework will be enforced permanently. With the Treaty, gambling is allowed via sports betting in the 16 states of Germany. However, other online gambling is prohibited. When the permanent laws are put in place next year, players will have access to more online gambling options.

Last week, the Council announced that even though the court ruled that sports betting licensing should not be issued, they will continue to accept applications from operators. The ruling came about after Vierklee, a sports betting operator of Austria argued that the country’s licensing process lacked transparency and gave favoritism to companies that had been active in the country in the past.

The court ruled that the process did lack transparency when it comes to operators and what they had to meet to obtain licensing. They also ruled that the lack of a uniform date for operators to go live in the market was discriminatory and would give an advantage to incumbents.

Even though the court did side with Vierklee, they did not state if the ruling puts an end to the sports betting market in Germany as well as invalidates the Treaty. The Darmstadt Regional Council filed an appeal on the ruling within the Kassel Administrative Court and are currently waiting for a decision on the matter.

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