Out of the illegality: private companies will be allowed to offer sports betting in Germany. This is what the Prime Minister has agreed to a new treaty signed by the state. The agreement provides for a maximum of 20 licenses, but still would soon possibly trigger a wave of lawsuits.
Berlin – The billions-worth sports betting market opens nationwide for private providers. The leaders of 15 states signed a corresponding amendment of the Interstate Gambling Treaty in Berlin. This was announced by the Schleswig-Holstein’s Minister Peter Harry Carstensen after the meeting. Now the EU Commission must still look into the design, and only afterwards will the state parliaments adopt the treaty.
Schleswig-Holstein is currently not involved in the new agreement. The county has adopted a much more far-reaching liberalization of sports betting and online poker. A law has been decided on by the state parliament, with the votes of the CDU and FDP. It allows an unlimited number of offers for sports betting and poker on the Internet.
The current treaty entered into force in January 2008 and will expire at end of the year. Last year, the European Court decided that the State Gambling Treaty was a form of violation of the European law. The reason for that was the fact that the state undermined even its aim to curb gambling addiction because it applies to cases of gambling. As a result, now the other 15 states want for sports betting to be privatized – but only under very strict conditions.
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In total, there will be 20 licenses available for sports betting providers, and a tax of five per cent stake. According to the draft, the 15 Ministers want to receive the lottery monopoly of the state, but open the sports betting market to a limited extent. Poker, and casino games, on the Internet should not be allowed.
In 2010, around nine billion euros was traded on the German gambling and lottery market, a total that was estimated as well in sports betting. Many sporting bets are also carried out in a gray area, and thre is a majority of sales accounted for by foreign operators, who actually pay no taxes in Germany. Casinos accounted for almost four billion of total sales.