German officials have announced a September 4 deadline for bookmakers to apply for one of the country’s 20 coveted sports betting licenses. The licenses application process is the culmination of months of legal wrangling and is generating a new storm of controversy.
Does Oddset Have an Advantage?
Some would-be applicants aren’t happy with the very short application period for what is, generally, a pretty complicated process. Critics are also wondering if the process isn’t designed to give state-sponsored betting giant Oddset an edge over the competition.
Germany’s betting treaty places severe limits on both the number of betting outlets each applicant can have in each lander, as well as the location of those outlets. These restrictions do not, however, apply to Oddset.
Gaming industry press and insiders were also surprised to see Cologne-based legal firm CBH listed as the Ministry of the Interior and Sports’ legal contact for the process. CBH is a long-time legal advisor to Oddset, leading some to question whether or not a conflict of interest exists.
Germany’s Road to Gaming Liberalization
Like many European governments that enjoyed a long-time gambling monopoly, Germany has been dragged kicking and screaming into gaming liberalization. The stern anti-competitive nature of Germany’s recent gaming treaty led the state of Schlesweig-Holstein to take a stab at issuing their own licenses.
The fact is that there aren’t a lot of companies that can put together the proper documentation in this short an amount of time. That makes the next couple weeks a critical time for any operator looking to break into the German market.
What do you think about Germany’s swift sports betting license deadline? Is it in the spirit of open trade? Share your opinion in the comments section below.