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German betting licensees ordered to cut online casino ties

Any online sporting bet operator wanting to be eligible for a license to operate in Germany must cut ties with any online casino operation that is accepting German customers.

The Regional Council of Darmstadt, representing the state of Hesse, has ordered all licensees to agree to not offer unregulated forms of gambling, either directly or through an affiliated business, upon receipt of a sports betting license. Council of Darmstadt has been earlier tasked with overseeing Germany’s transition to a regulated online betting market

Germany’s states passed a federal gambling treaty which was considered a stop-gap measure in March. Under the treaty sports betting licenses will be issued from the start of 2020 but these licenses will only be valid until June 30, 2021.

The legislation limits the market in 15 states to sports betting, with a €1,000 monthly spending limit in place for all customers and licensees subject to a 5 per cent turnover tax. By the time that mid-2021 deadline expires, the states hope to agree on a more permanent gambling treaty that may or may not include online casino options, which are currently illegal outside the state of Schleswig-Holstein, where there is no restrictions on the product and a 20 per cent gross revenue tax.

The current plan is for all 16 states to submit their respective proposals for the permanent gambling treaty by October. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia has already done it when proposing an opt-in/opt-out model under which each state would decide whether or not to permit online casino licensing.

Hesse’s interior minister Peter Beuth has earlier vowed that his state will go it alone if “reasonable regulation” isn’t agreed upon by all 16 states.

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