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European Commission Challenges German Gambling Treaty

German gambling laws, and the incredibly slow pace at which they are applied, have finally attracted the attention of gaming regulators with the powerful European Commission (EC).

According to multiple published reports, the EC is formally admonishing German officials for a wide variety of missteps during their years-long gambling licensing debacle.

At the core of Germany’s gambling problem is, according to EC regulators, Germany’s deeply flawed gambling treaty which issued 20 licenses last year. Due to legal challenges from operators who say they were wrongly frozen out of the process, none of these licenses have actually been issued.

Specifically, regulators are saying that Germany isn’t moving fast enough on its promise to break up the country’s government-controlled sports betting monopoly, Oddset.

Despite plenty of talk from German authorities about creating a competitive gambling market, Oddset is still the dominant player in the German market. For example, Oddset has been issued a license despite its ties to several German sports bodies. German law specifically bars licensees from these sort of relationships.

Regulators are also concerned about Germany’s flat-out ban on online poker and online casino gambling. The German government says the ban is in place to help combat gambling addiction, not to prop up land-based casinos.

The EC points out that not only is there no evidence to suggest that strategy would work, Germany also has a very healthy grey-market that German punters use anyways.

The EC’s move on Germany is getting plenty of support, especially from German operators who have languished under the undelivered promise of gambling liberalization for more than three years.