Hesse Receives 30 Federal Sports Betting License Applications

  • 20 other operators have expressed an interest in applying
  • Internet blocks could be on the cards for providers without a license
  • Update comes as Germany goes through radical legislative changes
royal residence Fulda, in Hesse
The German state of Hesse has now received 30 applications for federal sports betting licenses from gambling operators. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A slow start

Germany is currently going through a new licensing process. Despite receiving less applications than expected when the licensing process opened, the Regional Council of Darmstadt has announced that 30 operators have at last submitted their paperwork.

The Hessian body, which holds the responsibility for the new federal sports betting license, also revealed that 20 other operators have expressed an interest in applying. However, it is still not known when the licenses will be implemented.

20 other operators have expressed an interest in applying

The figure has rapidly increased from the 11 confirmed in January, when it had been revealed that just seven other operators had shown an interest in applying. Back in December, there were no applications at all, which led to an announcement by the council that unlicensed activity in the state of Hesse would not be tolerated.

Blocking orders on the horizon

The Regional Council of Darmstadt has hinted that any gambling company that fails to apply for an individual license could be subject to a blocking order now that the State Treaty on Gambling came into force on January 1, 2020.

While there has been no official comment, local media outlets have speculated that up to 10 companies could face an internet block for continuing to accept bets from citizens without acknowledging the requirement for a license.

However, current legislation surrounding the new license is only due to stay in force until June 30, 2021. By this point, regulations for online slots, sports betting, table games, and poker should have been finalized.

Legislation needs finalizing

At the moment, Germany is considering its options when it comes to regulating the gambling industry. A draft treaty has already been criticized by industry leaders as unworkable, as it proposes separate licenses for table games and slots.

A cap of €1 ($1.09) per spin on slots and a €1,000 ($1,090) cross-operator spending limit has also been met with panic by operators. Analysts are worried that such limits could push people to visit black market sites that do not have the correct licenses and safeguarding procedures in place.

The final version of this treaty is set to be looked at on March 5 at a meeting of the state Minister-Presidents.

Limited proposals

There is widespread recognition in Germany that gambling regulation needs an overhaul. Calls for new online legislation have been made by the German Sports Betting Association (DSWV) and the gaming hall body Deutsche Automatenwirtschaft (DAW). They have asked for a period of grace while the State Treaty becomes law for operators to hold licenses.

organization will allow licensed casinos to start accepting players from July 2021

However, proposals for stricter igaming procedures and a ban on advertising have also been put forward, as legal online casinos start to come under the Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsvertrag (GlüNeuRStV).

The organization will allow licensed casinos to start accepting players from July 2021 – as long as operators adhere to their rules.

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