July 29, 2019 3 min read


Sports Betting in Germany Disassociated from Online Casinos

  • New German licenses for sports betting vendors require no connections to online casino services
  • The German States is looking for more permanent solutions to issues with online gambling
  • The newly appointed licensing starts January 1st, 2020 but will last only year and a half

Earlier in July the Darmstadt Regional Council in Germany appointed new guidelines for businesses concerned with acquiring licensing for sports betting services. The Hesse state council has been assigned with the task of managing the country’s uneasy transition towards a legal and regulated online gambling market. Perhaps somewhat perplexing to the fellow risk lover, the new German licensing requires operators to prove they have no online casino services in their sleeves, let alone German-oriented ones.

In order for the license to be granted the companies eligible for one must declare that they will not promote, operate or facilitate any kind of unauthorized gambling activity in the country. That includes affiliates, as well. These new licenses are to come in circulation starting January 1st, 2020 and will be valid through to the end of June, 2021.

Germany on the Threshold of a New Industry

For now all 16 German states are to come to an agreement for a long-term plan for the integration of legal gambling services in the country’s legislation. There is only one allowed to operate and promote online casino operations – the state of Shleswig-Holstein.

Whether or not the new agreement will include online casinos is yet to become clear, but proposals from all German states on the matter are expected by October this year.

Peter Beuth, interior minister of Hesse, has taken a stance against the inclination of the other states towards banning online gambling altogether, saying that he’ll go at it alone, if necessary. Despite – or perhaps because of – his role of an overseer of the regulations which the country is to impose on the matter, Beuth reasons that a regulated gambling market is the only reasonable step forward.

Back in March 2019, when German states reached an agreement on a stopgap federal gambling treaty, Beuth said: “Most customers in Germany are not aware that the previous sports betting offers in this country in a gray area and formally illegal take place.”

Future Perspectives for Germany’s Accommodation of Legal Online Betting Remain Unclear

The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has already submitted its proposal for a democratic take on the problem, allowing for each state to decide for themselves whether or not they would like to accommodate licensing for online casino operations.

Speculations over the matter are troublesome. Bearing in mind the dissatisfaction which international online casino operators have been facing in Germany – mostly due to requirements, which limit the impact of the services they’re offering – the future for the industry remains a blur. Domestic lotteries have also complained of a decrease in the degree of trade barriers.

Troublesome as it may be, for now it seems like the future of online gambling in Germany is likely to be weighed down by legal matters.


Simon is a freelance writer who specializes in gambling news and has been an author in the poker/casino scene for 10+ years. He brings valuable knowledge to the team and a different perspective, especially as a casual casino player.

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