Legal certainty in sports betting

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Legal certainty in sports betting
Does anyone see through it? Even experienced lawyers, legal scholars, politicians and other experts fail to provide binding statements on the legal situation regarding online sports betting and the gaming market in Germany. Well, it hasn’t always been so straightforward with the law, but in this case it’s probably particularly opaque. But improvement is in sight. The new State Treaty on Gaming is designed to provide legal certainty, as required by all parties (except those who believe that gambling should be banned anyway). And not only in the area of online gambling, but also in the area of online sports betting. This would really be a big step. But let’s take a closer look at the scenario.

Sports betting and online casinos

So far, the online sports betting offer has always been in a legal gray area, because there is actually a monopoly for sports betting in Germany, and this is clearly due to the state provider Oddset. As I said: actually! Because in practice it looked and looks very different. In 2011, the countries had already agreed that there should be licensing for online sports betting providers, but with a fixed upper limit. 20 licenses should be issued. The rush was large and 73 providers applied, of which 35 remained after a preselection. But the selection never went further. Because a provider complained about the opaque process in his opinion, went to court and got right. The process was stopped. To date, no concession has been granted. This means maximum freedom for providers. The European Court of Justice also confirmed that they were allowed to run their offers in Germany, since they could not receive any licenses from the state. And so it has been in recent years. Sports betting providers were and are present everywhere. Whether as sponsors for sports clubs, in various forms of advertising or as online offers, Bwin, Tipico and Co are indispensable in Germany and most clubs do not want to do without them. By the way, not many friends of sports betting either.

This gray area will soon be finally over. With the entry into force of the third amendment to the State Treaty on Gaming on July 1, 2021, new legal security has been added. This stipulates that a new application process for licensing has been launched and this will also open the market to international sports betting providers. For the first time in history, the sports betting market will be fully opened to international providers who can finally establish their business in Germany.

New licenses, new happiness
After all, a new legal security has already been agreed within this framework, which will increase more and more with the entry into force of the new State Treaty on Gaming. Then it should e.g. also give a central gambling authority. By then, providers had actually managed to get a sports betting license. Specifically, these are the following providers: Cashpoint, Admiral Sportwetten GmbH, ODS ODDSET Deutschland Sportwetten GmbH, Oddsline Entertainment AG, Primebet International Ltd., ElectraWorks Ltd. Digibet Ltd., Internet Ltd., Ladbrokes International PLC, Bet90 Ltd., Deutsche Sportwetten GmbH, Personal Exchange International Ltd., Polco Ltd ,, Intermedia GmbH, Bernd Hobiger Wettbüro Goldesel, RULEO Alpenland GmbH, Racebets International Gaming Ltd. , Albers Wettbörsen Deutschland OHG mbH, IBA Entertainment Ltd. and Star Sportwetten GmbH.
Something is missing? Yes! Some of the very large providers are not represented, e.g. missing Tipico, bet365 and a whole host of others. But it doesn’t seem to be that much of a concern: “Of course we consider this decision to be urgently questionable, but we don’t attach much importance to it. This decision currently has no impact on our operating business, as we will now take the legal process and we have a clear chance of success. In the current proceedings, we will not comment further on the content of the process for the time being, ”commented Jan Bolz, CEO of Tipico Sports Betting.

In this case, too, you have to wait until there is definitive legal certainty. One fact is certain that sports betting will continue to exist in Germany, also or especially online. The market is too lucrative and too big for that. However, it is not yet possible to say how these will really be designed next year. Before that, there will probably be some legal proceedings and the providers will use all legal means to protect their interests. In the interest of all players, it would make sense in any case to create a uniform and precise legal framework so that they can do what they like doing most, namely simply betting.

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