German sports betting licensees sue over market restrictions

The lawsuits have been lodged against the state of Hesse.
The lawsuits have been lodged against the state of Hesse.

All 33 sports betting operators are taking part in a lawsuit against the state of Hesse.

Germany.- The newly regulated gaming market in Germany is notable for its tight conditions, and now operators have taken legal action over the matter. All 33 sports betting licensees have lodged lawsuits against the state of Hesse to challenge the market’s regulations.

The state will be represented by the Regional Council of Darmstadt, which confirmed that “All holders of permits for both land-based and online sports betting” had filed lawsuits. The operators complain that the market conditions, which limit in-play betting to match winners and total goals, favour unlicensed offshore competitors.

The operator association DSWV has repeatedly warned that this, together with the high tax rate and a €1,000 monthly deposit limit for almost all customers, pushes players towards the black market.

Germany’s Fourth Interstate Treaty on gambling finally came into force on July 1 last year, adding online casino gaming with similarly restrictive conditions, as well as a €2 stake limit on slots. To date, no online casino licences have been granted by the state of Saxony-Anhalt, which was designated as the temporary regulator.

See also: New German gambling regulator to create whistleblower platform

High Court of Frankfurt upholds order to refund player losses 

Meanwhile, it seems more lawsuits could be on the way after a senior court agreed that a player should be refunded gambling losses that he incurred before the legalisation of online gaming. The High Court of Frankfurt has upheld a ruling ordering a Malta-licensed operator to refund €12,000 to a player from Hesse. 

The player, who said he had a gambling addiction, had taken legal action to recover losses he incurred in 2017. Online gambling was only legalised across Germany with the introduction of the Fourth Interstate Treaty on Gambling last July. 

In this article:
gambling sports betting