Bundesrat moves forward on complex German licensing framework

Germany’s sixteen federal states have approved the mandate of the ‘third amended Interstate Treaty on Gambling’, paving the way for a new national licensing regime to be implemented.

Agreeing on Bundesrat (Federal Council) directives, the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein will be allowed to continue it’s operating its state-sanctioned online gambling regulatory regime allowing a number of licensed incumbents to continue servicing the market.

Moving to revamp its market, all sixteen states have agreed to allow a one-year provisional concession for licenses, which will be activated on 1 January 2020 running until 2021.

The provisional period will act as a stop-gap measure for the Bundesrat, which will aim to deliver a comprehensive federal sports betting framework by 2021 – aiming to end what will be a six-year regulatory wait for European incumbents.

The Bundestag (Parliament) now moves to submit the third amended treaty to the European Council for review this April, seeking for its licensing regime and its provisions to be approved for European business standards.

As previously reported, the much-maligned Hesse Ministry for Interior Sports has been forced to withdraw its controversial policy on limiting sports betting licenses to a set number of approved operators (20 in total) – a provision that was rejected by the EC on grounds of breaching European competition standards.

At present, the Hesse Ministry maintains that only sports betting will be licensed at a 5% tax rate on turnover, with in-play betting services to be prohibited and consumers only allowed to spend €1000 on betting each month.

Industry leaders and commentators will await to see whether German states push for the Hesse Ministry to undertake further amendments to the treaty, expanding the framework for all gambling disciplines.

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