German Authority Awards Three More Sports Betting Licenses, Taking Total to 21

  • Germany’s ODDSET Sportwetten and Malta-based NetXBetting and Tipster.de were licensed
  • ODDSET will operate in retail, NetXBetting in online, and Tipster.de in both online and retail
  • The German Interstate Treaty and Tolerance Policy provided much-needed clarity for operators
Flag of Hesse, Germany
The regulatory authority in the German state of Hesse has awarded sports betting licenses to three more operators, bringing the country’s total to 21. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Licensees based in Germany and Malta

The State of Hesse’s Regional Council of Darmstadt (RP Darmstadt) has awarded sports betting licenses to three more operators in Germany, taking the countrywide total to 21. The German authority approved sports betting licences on November 24 for state-owned ODDSET Sportwetten GmbH and two Malta-based firms, NetXBetting and Tipster.de.

Seven German state lotteries have shares in ODDSET, which will operate in the retail sector only. NetXBetting was awarded an online-only license and will operate in Germany via its Sportwetten.de website. Tipster.de., meanwhile, can operate across online and retail platforms under its combined Tipster Limited license.

Despite being based in Malta, NetX Betting Ltd and sportwetten.de GmbH are subsidiaries of publicly listed pferdewetten.de AG, a company headquartered in Düsseldorf’s Media Harbour in western Germany.

Out of the 21 licensees, 17 are Malta-based, with two headquartered in Germany and one apiece in Austria and Gibraltar.

German authority makes up for delay

RP Darmstadt issued the first federal sports betting licenses last month after German courts threw out a legal challenge from Austrian sportsbook operator Vierklee, which had delayed the licensing process. In the first round of 15 license approvals, four went to GVC Holdings brands.

Also earning licenses in October were sports betting heavyweights Bet365, BetVictor, Tipico, and Tipwin. Bet-at-Home, Bet3000, and Interwetten gained online sports betting licenses in November.

state legislatures need to pass the rules by April 30, 2021

RP Darmstadt’s issuance of the recent trio of licenses follows progress made in early November by the new GlüNeuRStV gambling framework. Next, 13 state legislatures need to pass the rules by April 30, 2021, allowing the framework to go live on July 1, 2021.

What bettors can expect

The German Interstate Treaty and Tolerance Policy that came into effect on October 15, 2020 provided much-needed clarity and certainty for sports betting operators in Germany.

long-awaited clarity to the future of online gaming regulation in Germany”

At the time, GVC CEO Shay Segev said it brought “long-awaited clarity to the future of online gaming regulation in Germany […] a level playing field for responsible, licensed operators is ultimately good for German consumers, the Group and the industry as a whole.”

These new rules limit bettors to a monthly wagering limit of €1,000 ($1,190), which can increase after full licenses are issued, according to a GVC press release.

The new rules will also see the regulated market expand to include games such as slots and online poker. Other rules include a €1 ($1.18) maximum bet per online slot spin and a spin speed of five seconds per game.