Germany has drafted a gambling bill that is aiming for a unified approach across all 16 federal states.
German news reports note that the nation’s sixteen state assemblies have agreed to put forward the draft mandate of the ‘Third Interstate Treaty on Gambling’ – seeking to develop a federal framework on regulating wagering services, rather than the state-by-state model that is currently in place.
Central to the revamped mandate, the Hesse Ministry for Interior Sports will be forced to withdraw all constraints on limiting sports betting licenses to a set number of approved operators.
In 2016, Hesse’s attempts to modernise Germany’s sports betting framework were rejected by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which stated that Hesse’s limited licensing policy had breached EU competition standards.
Despite the ECJ rejection, in 2017 the German Bundestag (lower-house) permitted state assemblies to allow for temporary licensing of bookmakers authorised under a ‘transitional arrangement’ formed by a ‘modified interstate treaty on gambling’.
The much-maligned Hesse Ministry underlined that temporary licensing was the only viable option for German incumbents, as federal state assemblies would push to reform and deliver a new federal gambling framework by 2018.
This March, German state assemblies could end a four-year wait for European stakeholders voting on the initial mandate of Germany’s first unified federal framework/code on gambling – which if approved could be enforced by 1 January 2020.
Despite garnering criticism from betting and wider German sports stakeholders, the Hesse Ministry for Sports maintains that under the ‘Third Interstate Treaty’ there will be no reform of governing bodies, as Hesse retains German gambling licensing powers.
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