German Sports Betting Operators Must Eliminate Links to Online Casinos

  • Companies applying for a new license must have no relationship with German-facing casino sites
  • There is a temporary online gambling treaty in place until June 30, 2021
  • The 16 German states are submitting proposals for a permanent gambling treaty
  • There are no indications whether online casinos will be included in the said agreement
German sports betting operators must have no links to German-facing casino sites to be eligible for a license.

Order to cut ties with German casinos

Any online sports betting companies looking to get a new license in the German market will have to show they have no relationship with online casinos that are German facing.

All online operators must comply fully with online gambling protocols.

This demand is part of the long running path to introduce a regulatory framework for the German online gambling sector. This is under the guidance of the Regional Council of Darmstadt. The new set of guidelines details the criteria online sports betting operators must meet.

There is a requirement in place that all online operators must comply fully with online gambling protocols. This means they won’t “operate or broker unauthorized gambling in Germany, either themselves or through affiliated companies, once the license has been granted.”

It was in March that a temporary gambling treaty got approval from the respective German states. This will see the opening up of the application process for sports betting licenses by the end of 2019.

These licenses will then be in place by January 1, 2020. However, there is only a valid period for these licenses up to June 30, 2021.

Details of this treaty

This is just a stopgap treaty, with a more permanent one set to be in place by the said expiration date. Online casinos are still not legal in Germany, with the exception of the state of Schleswig-Holstein. However, this may change as part of a more permanent treaty.

To come to this more permanent arrangement, each of the 16 states in the country will provide their own proposals for a new treaty by October 2019. Some of these states have already put their ideas forward. North Rhine-Westphalia has called for each state to have the power to decide for themselves whether they want to offer online casinos.

Past attempts for more permanent treaties have been stricken with legal issues. These concern international gambling operators that were not happy with limits on their potential offerings. Lottery monopolies in Germany also have concerns that they would have lower levels of protectionism with a new framework in place.

The interior minister in Hesse, Peter Beuth, says that if there is no agreement reached by all the states, Hesse will proceed to set up an online gambling framework on its own. He says Hesse would not be supporting a “nonsensical total ban” on the online gambling sector. Beuth believes the only viable approach would be to have a free system that is regulated.

Ban on gambling ads

Despite opening up the online sports betting space, the German authorities are implementing a curtailment on gambling advertisements. The broadcasting regulator, the Media Authority of Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, is ordering an end to radio and television gambling ads.

The ban has been in place since February and no new legislation was required. There is no indication as to whether it will be in place for the long term.

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