Some 14 sports betting sites in Bremen, Germany will keep their doors shut, a recent report reveals.
Regulators Checked Thousands of Documents Submitted by Betting Shops
The Senator for the Interior in Bremen, Ulrich Mäurer, unveiled Monday that 14 sports betting locations will remain closed. The recent announcement follows an effort initiated in July this year. Back then, the regulator in the state sought to ensure that betting shops are not involved in unlawful activities such as the distribution of drugs, money laundering or human trafficking.
Now, the Senator for the Interior revealed that since July, Bremen’s regulatory office conducted checks of thousands of documents and balance sheets provided by betting shops. Experts in the field from the tax office also helped with the review of the massive amount of documents provided by the betting businesses. Consequently, the regulatory office revealed that it issued five permits for betting shops. What’s more, it vowed that additional permits are expected soon.
“The very labor-intensive review was worth it. Almost all operators have so far been able to demonstrate the legitimate origin of the funds.“Ulrich Mäurer, Senator for the Interior in Bremen
Speaking about the review of the operator’s documents, Interior Senator Mäurer acknowledged that the initiative has been intensive but worth it. He explained that nearly all of the operators provided the necessary documents to prove their origin of funds. Still, Mäurer outlined that during the process the regulator came across some “dubious people.” Last but not least, he said that he hopes the effort will set a good example for other federal states to follow.
14 Sports Betting Shops Remain Closed
While the efforts to ensure the legal operation and issuing permits sound good, that’s not the fate of all betting locations. Some 14 sports betting sites will remain shut for the moment, according to the latest report. This action comes despite the regulatory authorities noting that they found no indication that money laundering was conducted at any of those locations.
However, the decision stands as the permit to operate was rejected for eight locations due to “unreliability” on behalf of the operator. The authorities explained that this decision was pushed due to a “large number of criminal proceedings had been conducted against the managing director over the decades.” Furthermore, it said that at one of the betting shop locations, the regulatory authorities found knives and drugs last summer.
Another six sports betting permit applications were also denied. The prime reason to reject the permit according to local authorities was “distance collisions.” Citing the Statutory distance rules in the state of Bremen, regulators pointed out that a license cannot be granted if the betting operator is located in less than “250 meters linear distance from a secondary school, a grammar school, a vocational school, a school for health professions or a falls short of another betting agency.” While those are the current distance rules, starting from July 1 next year, the minimum distance between the sports betting location and the aforementioned facilities will be increased to 500 meters.