Despite being deemed a ‘non-viable solution’ by the European Commission, the German Bundestag (lower-house) yesterday approved the progression of 2nd Modified State Treaty on Gambling (Glücksspieländerungsstaatsvertrag).
Progressing the treaty, which allows a ‘transitional arrangement’ for bookmakers to offer online betting services as the German government revamps its national gambling framework expected in 2018.
Last October, German officials presented the Second Treaty to the European Court of Justice seeking for approval of its temporary measures for sports betting licensing.
Under pressure from national sports stakeholders, German ministers looked to present amendments that would temporarily fix the previously rejected ‘20-operator licensing cap’ established in the controversial Hesse Sports Betting Treaty.
However, this week the EC contacted the German government directly to inform them that its temporary arrangements had been rejected outright as its courts deemed the Second Treaty to be unfit for European business purposes and an ‘unworkable solution’.
On Thursday, despite the EC’s rejection, German Heads of State signed for the progression of the 2nd State Treaty, allowing for temporary licensing to be granted to 35 ‘applicant’ sports betting operators.
Speaking on the matter, mybet Holdings CEO Markus Peuler stated that his company supported the motion
“The preliminary permission has the same effect as a licence. On time with putting our new product platform fully into operation on 21 March, we now have legal certainty for our sports betting offer in the German market for the time being”.
While German betting stakeholders will be pleased with the temporary amendments, the German government and its ministers will likely face questioning from the EC and EU regarding its approval of a vetoed mandate.
The German CDU government now enters a crucial six-month period ahead of the country’s national elections this September. Industry commentators have pointed out whether the government will have the time to pursue a full-scale revamp of betting laws.