Authorities in Germany have claimed that no sports betting applications have been received for the state of Hesse. This is despite warnings that uncertified companies would face action.
While licence applications are being processed, brands are expected to temporarily cease their operations. The lack of applicants is made even more surprising when the process has been open for months and the deadline to submit these is the end of December.
Time is running out
When commenting on the current situation, Minister Peter Beuth had the following to say.
“I urgently warn operators that from January 2020, sports betting is subject to authorisation. There will be no more toleration of unlicensed offerings.”
He continued: “We will consistently prohibit illegal offerings. If you do not have permission then you are liable for prosecution, and the state will be forced to act.”
Previous warnings have been made
The Darmstadt Regional Council, which represents Hesse, has warned operators about the upcoming changes before. Last month, they mentioned:
“Once the third amended State Treaty enters into force, sports betting providers that continue to operate in the German market without obtaining permission can expect to be sanctioned.”
Past threats have not been empty
There has been a clampdown in unregulated gambling activity over the course of this year, which is perhaps unsurprising when its black market is worth a lot. Earlier in 2019, PayPal stopped accepting online casino payments after receiving pressure to do so. It affected the likes of LeoVegas‘ revenue here by a significant margin.
When it comes to players, they have so far not been punished as long as they’re gambling with EU-based operators. So, it seems as though authorities are starting to target brands in a bid to combat illegal activity.
Germany is in the process of reforming its gambling laws. At the moment, each state looks after its own affairs. Interim laws are expected to run from January 2020 until the end of June 2021. After this, the country expects that more permanent and nationwide regulations will be implemented.