Online casinos in Germany. The federal state of Hesse now explicitly warned online casinos in Germany with sports betting that they should sit out the period until mid-2021 without a license. If it is up to the will of politics, the now third State Treaty on Gaming Amendment is to come into force at the beginning of next year. With this, the previously tolerated sports betting will finally be made legal and national licenses will be issued for this purpose.
However, the interest of most private providers for an application should be extremely limited. The operators would have to give up too much for such a license, which could jeopardize the actual profitability. Above all, abandoning your own range of slot machines and live casino games for maintenance does not work as a convincing argument. For this reason, the federal state of Hesse now warns online casinos in Germany in an open letter to the industry not to take the new law lightly.
The German sports betting concessions that nobody wants or needs
Instead of waiting until the middle of 2021, when a new state treaty on gaming has to come, and using the time for its EU-compliant design, Germany prefers to use a regular crutch until then. This is the so-called third Interstate Treaty on Gaming, which is supposed to legalize sports betting. However, as has often been observed in the past, this is completely half-baked and even the EU Commission was extremely skeptical. The main criticisms are diverse.
On the one hand, the short period of validity is criticized. This only runs until mid-2021, when the new state treaty on gaming is to come. For the operator of an online casino with sports betting on offer an unsustainable condition, as it is not even clear now how it will continue from mid-2021. Maybe everything will be different again and the investments made so far for the sports betting license with all of its claims were proverbial for Katz. It is an enormous risk for every operator to give up their own online casino in Germany for this license, only to be able to offer a range of sports betting that does not include the most popular betting options. Because in order to receive such a license, gaming groups not only have to give up the biggest revenue generators, the slot machines, but also live bets and stakes on penalties or goalscorers.
In addition to the bans on live betting and events outside of the half-time and final results, the new sports betting license also provides for other unpopular restrictions. The maximum limit for customers per month should also be 1,000 euros.
Hessen warns all online casinos in Germany with sports betting
No sooner had Hesse, the federal state in charge of sports betting, published the plans and criteria for awarding the sports betting concessions than there was criticism. Because which gambling company should have an interest in the abandonment of their own online casinos in Germany if, in return, apart from a small range of sports betting, nothing emerges as an alternative. In August, GVC Holdings, the largest online casino operator in the world, made it clear in its quarterly report that the company did not believe in the new license.
Between the lines, it could be interpreted that GVC Holdings probably sees the elimination of the one and a half years until the coming State Treaty on gaming as the best solution for a bridging. Hesse, however, is keen to prevent this sitting out as the supreme supervisory authority in the area and has warned all online casinos in Germany with this sports betting offer. Every operator who offers sports betting in the Federal Republic at the beginning of next year without holding a license or having applied for it should be mercilessly persecuted.
The proposed measures include investigations, criminal proceedings and orders from several bodies. On the one hand, there are the public prosecutor’s offices, the media supervisory authorities, and on the other hand, the financial supervision and, last but not least, the Lower Saxony Interior Ministry. Everyone should then take action against the illegal sports betting provider who refuses to shut down his online casinos in Germany and applies for a license.
The authorities intended for persecution and their tasks
- the federal state of Hesse has sovereignty in the area of sports betting and is responsible for awarding the licenses, controls the operators and can issue sanctions
- the financial regulator, in turn, can examine the cash flows
- the media regulators control the advertising and can then punish illegal gambling advertisements for illegal gambling advertising
- the Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior is responsible for orders to payment service providers and could ask them to cease their services for certain operators, as has already been the case with PayPal in the past
- the public prosecutors can initiate criminal proceedings against illegal gambling groups in Germany, which continue to offer sports betting in Germany without a license or application for it
Sports betting is more likely to be abandoned than online casinos in Germany
Even if Hessen now threatens the online casino in Germany with sports betting more or less with pithy words, it is more than questionable whether they will really be impressed by it. In reality, it will first have to be shown whether the threat of persecution is even possible in the form. It can already be assumed that if any investigation, punishment or prohibition comes into force, the operator concerned will take legal action immediately.
Before a final decision has been made here by all instances, the year and a half before the new State Treaty on Gaming is likely to be over. Another problem is that this new third state treaty on gaming changes only affects operators who also offer sports betting to their online casinos in Germany. Only these have to give up their range of slot machines and live casino games due to the new license.