Administrative Court of Wiesbaden

Numeric limitation of sports betting licenses is against the law

A next stage win on the way to regulation: On Friday, April 15, 2016, the Administrative Court of Wiesbaden ruled that a numeric limitation of licenses for private sports betting providers to twenty, as set by German State Treaty on Gambling, is against European law. Furthermore, the law suit filed by Tipico confirms the legality of the activities of the leading German sports betting provider.

Hessischer VGH bestätigt VG Wiesbaden_Group Page_Hero

Back in September 2014, Tipico filed a suit against the awarding of 20 sports betting licenses by the responsible Hessian Ministry for the Interior. In the main proceedings the court ruled that Tipico must get a license since the company fulfilled all the qualitative requirements for such. The limitation of the quantity of licenses represents an unlawful interference with the EU fundamental freedoms, the judges said. Once again, the court sentence criticised the lack of transparency in the licensing process and the resulting arbitrariness.

“This sentence clearly states that Tipico meets all qualitative criteria to obtain a sports betting license in Germany and that there cannot be any doubt about the legality of our business activities. As the leading provider, we will do our part and continue to constructively help paving the way for legally compliant regulations in Germany”, Jan Bolz, CEO of Tipico Co. Ltd., comments on the decision from Wiesbaden.

DSWV expects impacts on political debate

The German Sports Betting Association (DSWV) expects the sentence to create impacts on the ongoing political debate. On their last conference in March, the State Premiers agreed to hold on to the numeric limitation and to raise the number of licenses to 40.

“A limitation to 40 licenses is just as arbitrary as a limitation to 20. We call on the Prime Ministers to reconsider their plans,” says DSWV president Mathias Dahms and adds “The State Treaty on Gambling needs a fundamental reform to finally establish legal certainty. The State of Hesse has already submitted a constructive proposal.”