Germany’s incredibly complicated licensing scheme for online gambling operators is complicated to the point of being completely unworkable. That’s long been the belief in the igaming industry and that belief has been upheld by a top European Union court.

Earlier this week the Court of European Union Justice (CEUJ) ruled that German gaming regulators could no longer impose penalties on operators who’d run afoul of their laws. According to the court, Germany’s licensing plan is simply too complex to enforce.

In their ruling, the CEUJ made it clear that Germany’s licensing laws made it nearly impossible for operators who are licensed in other EU states to operate in Germany. The ability to engage in commerce across borders is a central tenet of the EU and countries that create trade barriers, as Germany has done, are routinely punished.

Not surprisingly, the court’s edict was endorsed by igaming trade groups including the German Sports Betting Association (DSWV) and the European Gambling and Betting Association. According to a report on CalvinAyre.com, both groups have called for significant changes to Germany licensing regulations.

Germany, like so many other Central European governments, has seemed desperate to cling on to its long held gambling monopoly, no matter what the cost. The result has been a drawn out battle over licensing that’s been to the benefit of no one.

Recall that back in 2012, the country vowed to issue 20 licenses to online operators and, as of this writing, very few of those have actually been issued.

While it’s clear that Germany officials are intent to drag this process out as long as possible, it’s unclear whether the EU will allow that scenario to take place.


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