Betfair Applies for German Sports Betting License

Betfair Applies for German Sports Betting License


The renowned online gambling company Betfair applied for a new German federal online sports betting license. The application period for the new German online betting licenses has ended this morning.

In a surprising move, UK online betting giant Betfair has applied for a new German online sports betting license. If the license will be approved by German authorities – which is very likely to happen – then the venture will be legally allowed to offer sports betting services in the country.

Germany adopted a new federal online gambling treaty three months ago. The new treaty that was adopted by 14 of the 16 German federal provinces awards 20 online sports betting licenses but bans all other forms of online gambling such as online poker and online casino.

Betfair’s move to apply for a German license is surprising because the company is at this moment accepting German online casino and online poker players. In order to receive a federal sports betting license, companies will have to shut down all online poker and casino activities in the country.

Betfair’s current German online casino and online poker operations are not that strong but shutting them down might disappoint a lot of German players and might even deter them from signing up at the operator’s future licensed sports betting site.

At this moment Betfair operates in Germany with the online gambling license that it had received last month in the German province of Schleswig-Holstein, permitting the venture to offer online casino and online poker games.

But if the venture will be awarded with a federal license, then this will take precedence over the provincial license and its rules. Betfair might end up in a situation where it will be forced to shut down its German online poker and online casino services.

However, it appears that Betfair still hopes that somehow its German casino and poker operations might be saved despite the issuing of a federal license. Yesterday Betfair CFO Stephen Morana commented that:

“To be honest, there are loads of conditions we are working through with our advisors and the regulators as well. This is very fluid, and it’s very uncertain. The end game is a few months away. This is not long term, but we continue to work through. It’s just too early to speculate how it’s going to play out.”

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