German licenses stil on hold

The grant of sports betting licenses in Germany seems to become a neverending story. After scorching criticism from many sides the licensing process is on hiatus once more. And it looks like this won’t change before 2014…

Originally the word was that the Hessian Ministry of the interior and sports invited 14 companies out of the 41 applicants in the second phase of the process for a personal presentation. Now everything seems to have changed, because as the Ministry told the website, it was determined that none of the applicants was able to confirm the compliance to the minimum requirements.

While additions to the application documents were adamantly refused initially, applicants now have to complement their applications. The sad consequence: The second phase of the licensing process has been reset to square one.

The whole licensing process, which continues since mid of 2012, was criticized early on. Next to various formal errors and partially ambiguous requirements, the seemingly arbitrary limitation to just 20 licenses had feelings run high.

The agency has to endure harsh criticism from politicians as well. Hans-Jörg Arp, parliamentarian secretary of the CDU faction in the Schleswig-Holstein Landtag, talked about an “unparalleled disgrace for the federal states” and simultaneously defends the already carried out grant of sports betting licenses in Schleswig-Holstein: “Our way of regulating the market works. With their policy of suppression of a market, the federal states failed with a bang.”

The grant of sports betting licenses on a federal level will keep participants busy for quite some time. Until then the political tug-o-war results in a non-regulated market for sports betting in Germany. It is safe to say, that licenses will be granted sometime next year at the earliest. But no one would be willing to bet on that.