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German Gaming License Process Nearly Kaput

The 149 operators who applied for German gaming licenses to offer sports betting may have to wait until 2014 for approval thanks to a recent ruling from an administrative court.

According to a report in EGR Magazine, the Ministry of the Interior of Hesse has been chided by the court for bungling the gaming licensing process by not including all interested parties in preliminary proceedings. As a result, the entire licensing process has been put on hold and might not ramp up again until next year.

Here’s how it all went down.

You’re Not Invited

In March, the Hessian Interior Ministry, which is tasked with licensing sports betting operators, invited 10 of those companies to discuss their plans for entering the market. (Nearly identical sessions took place when Schleswig-Holstein went through the licensing process and included many of the same players.)

With BetVictor  leading the way, the 139 applicants who were left out of the proceedings filed inquiry with a Hessian administrative court to find out exactly why they weren’t invited to the party.

Administrative Court Ruling

Suffice to say, the judge was not impressed with how the process had been handled. Their ruling not only called out Hessian officials for not having a clearly stated procedure, but also for making operators repeat the licensing process they’d already been through in Schleswig-Holstein.

The ruling left the Hessians with two choices; consult with the rest of the applicants or start the process over from scratch.

Regardless of which scenario comes to pass, most observers agree that no licenses will be issued until 2014 at the earliest.

What do you think about this latest turn in the German gaming liberalization scheme? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.