Germany seems to have extend its online gambling licensing application period to September 12th. Until this date operators will be able to apply for a new sports betting license that will be valid on the territory of Germany.
On July 1st 2012 Germany adopted a new federal online gambling treaty. The new treaty signed by 14 of the 16 German member states legalized online sports betting and gives the chance to 20 sports betting operators to apply for new licenses.
On July 1st the German government announced that applicants will have time until September 4th to apply for a new license. Today it seems that the government has extended this date to September 12th, most likely because the 20 slots have not been filled up yet.
The new German gambling treaty legalizes sports betting but bans all other forms of online gambling. Likewise, as explained above, it limits the number of licenses to be issued to 20 making sure that only big and strong companies are able to operate.
This treaty has been rejected by the European Commission but Germany ignored this ruling and implemented it anyway. The EC asked Germany to abandon the treaty within the next 2 years and replace it with a more liberal legislation but this is very unlikely to happen.
Despite online sports betting now being legal in the country, many operators are reluctant to apply for a license. This is because most sports betting operators also run online casino and poker services, which they would be forced to shut down in case they are warded with a sports betting license.
Instead, most operators prefer to operate from offshore jurisdictions. While online casinos and poker businesses are banned in Germany, offshore operators can still access the German market since these regulations don’t apply on them.
Likewise, players are also able to access the websites of offshore gambling operators since the German online gambling ban only refers to German companies and not individual citizens. Based on this, one might say that the German federal gambling treaty is a huge failure since it doesn’t really achieves anything.
The reason why Germany seems to dislike online casinos and online poker sites is because they would represent a serious competition to the German state-owned gambling monopoly. What the government however doesn’t realizes is that people can access foreign gambling websites anyway at any moment.
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