As at the end of 2020, at least 19 operators have been approved for sports betting licences in Germany. Awarded by the Regional Council of Darmstadt, said licenses authorise bookmakers to offer betting products to the country’s inhabitants. This means that the global sports betting world has just gotten bigger, and it’s going to continue to do so, from Europe and beyond.
Among the first of the new licensees were GVC Holdings, the Gausselmann Group, and a popular international betting and online casino platform. More bookies added to the list towards the end of the year, and more are to come.
The first of the licenses were issued in October, with the licensing process finally putting an end to years of uncertainty for operators serving the local market. Finally, the German sportsbook market can truly thrive, and the huge number of sports betting fans can enjoy easy access to safe, secure and well-regulated sites that offer fair odds and top service.
Sportsbook Licensing Conditions
Several conditions have been put into place by the local regulator – all of which are in line with the provisions and regulations of Germany’s Third State Treaty. These regulations are to protect bettors and to keep the industry well regulated, reducing problem gambling, and promoting responsible betting behaviour.
Deposits, for one, are limited until such time as what players have passed certain verification checks. Once approved, these will be limited to a monthly €1,000. Only those customers with a maximum limit and a loss limit in place will upon application be permitted to increase their annual spend-limit up to a maximum of €10,000 in some cases, and €30,000 in some others.
Furthermore, all licensees are expected to integrate their platforms with the country’s national self-exclusion system, OASIS, and all betting markets must first be approved by the Regional Council before those markets can be launched. And as far as bonuses are concerned, operators will be limited to offering a maximum bonus or free bets and promotions of €100 per customer, per year.
Positive Reaction From Operators
A newly licensed operator has in the meantime described the long-awaited licensing process as a fantastic opportunity for everybody involved – including politicians, customers, providers, and regulating authorities.
Licensing is the first real step towards responsible regulation in the country. The operator also expressed the hope that the initial licenses issued will pave the way for Germany’s new regulatory agreement, titled GluNeuRStV 2021, as well as ongoing legal and regulatory improvements.
The eventual issuing of regulated sports betting licences came after decades of false starts, volatile recriminations, and ongoing legal challenges. The hope is that the country will only continue to move forward from this point onwards and that those operators approved for licences will continue to conduct their operations above board and in compliance with market regulations.