German Online Gambling Licensing Troubled By Court Challenge

Sports betting licensing has been getting traction across the world, to the joy of online sports betting companies. Questions like ‘What Is Against The Spread’ have become more and more common as sports betting gains public support and acknowledgement.

Germany’s sports betting licensing plans, however, have hit a bit of a snag, thanks to a legal challenge from an Austrian bookmaker. In early April, the Administrative Court of Darmstadt upheld a complaint filed by Vierklee, an Austrian sports betting operator, which states that the wagering licensing procurement process that was overseen by the state of Hesse wasn’t transparent enough.

The attorney representing the Tirol-based operator issued a statement on the matter, saying that their client and other gaming companies, which they didn’t mention, weren’t informed about the concession procedure’s start back in July 2018. As a result of the legal challenge, the court ordered the suspension of the licensing process until all applicants have an even playing field, to take effect immediately.

The German Sports Betting Association issued a statement on the matter, with President Mathia Dahms calling it as an attack on their members, which, notably, doesn’t include Vierklee, around 30 of which have already submitted their applications for betting licenses. The organization’s statement on the matter made no attempt to hide their annoyance on the matter.

The licensing process, which was working on getting a legal online gambling market operational in Germany by the first of July 2020, is once again put on hold. Dahms stated that all of the work that the DSWV members put into answering inquiries like ‘What is legal gambling’ and ‘What Is Against The Spread’, as well as ensuring legal certainty, has been rendered moot.

Dahms has expressed their sympathy for the Hessian Ministry of the Interior and the Darmstadt Regional Council and their staff, who have to deal with this matter and ensure that everyone is up to par with regulation.

The DSWV is waiting for the vetoing process, and has urged the German government to make changes to the betting regulations that were approved by representatives of 16 states early in 2020.