The Chancellery of Bremen has declared that 14 betting offices are to remain closed as the Interior Senator of the city-state finalises his review of money laundering rules and infringements.
In July, Interior Senator Ulrich Mäurer ordered that all 32 betting offices licensed in Bremen to shut down immediately, impacting the businesses franchises of Tipico, HappyBet, Tipwin and XTiP.
The closure was ordered as Mäurer launched an investigation of Bremen betting licences and whether incumbents had complied with rule changes related to the financial reporting of individual betting offices.
Mäurer had stated that order was necessary as Bremen betting office had not convincingly explained where their founding capital came from – a licence requisite under the Fourth Interstate Gambling Treaty (GlüNeuRStv).
The move was lambasted by Der Deutsche Sportwettenverband (DSWV), Germany’s sports betting trade association, as a “politically motivated arbitrary action” authorised to support Mäurer’s special interests against German sports betting operators.
The operators of Tipico, HappyBet, Tipwin and XTiP were ordered to disclose all financial information on their Bremen franchises, needed to reopen their properties.
On Tuesday, the Chancellery issued an update informing that “14 betting sites will remain closed in Bremen”- however the investigation had found “no evidence of money laundering”.
Eight of the closed betting franchises are to be further examined due to ‘reliability concerns’ as the investigation revealed that management on licences had prior criminal records.
The remaining six have been placed under review for being in breach of “statutory distance rules” in which betting offices are within 250mm of an academic or public healthcare venue.
Interior Senator Ulrich Mäurer said “The very labour-intensive review was worth it. Almost all operators have so far been able to demonstrate the legal origin of the funds.
“However, the fact that we came across dubious people who were responsible when reviewing this industry should give food for thought. I am sure that our example will also set a precedent in other federal states.
“The closures of several weeks at the operators, who are now allowed to open again, could have been avoided if their evidence had been submitted in good time. Despite repeated requests from the authorities, this did not happen. So the closures are not to be blamed on the regulatory office.”