Hesse licences

Hesse begins process for sports betting licences

Gambling authorities in the German state of Hesse have begun the process for issuing temporary sports betting licences. The permits will be a stop-gap while Germany works on amending its gambling laws.

How many operators will apply?

Despite warnings from governing bodies here, not many operators applied for licences prior to the deadline. But towards the end of 2019, Bet365 announced that it was switching off its Germany-based casino. It also told affiliates to stop advertising it, while stating that Austrian players could still access its German-language offerings.

Considering that it only turned off its operations for Germany, one would guess that this is what it was preparing for. It had previously been requested by authorities that applicants halt their German operations until they had been granted a licence.

Cracking down on unregulated gambling 

In the final months of 2019, the Darmstadt Regional Council stressed that it would be clamping down on unlicensed operators this year. Minister Michael Beuth warned that “the state will be forced to act” if compliance is not achieved.

Last September, PayPal also stopped accepting payments from casino players in the country. This came after growing pressure to do so.

The German Sports Betting Association, which encourages operators to contribute to a more responsible gambling landscape, also grew last year. Most recently, sports betting operator MoPlay became a member in November 2019.

Interim regulations in place

Germany expects to have completed its new regulatory framework by summer 2021. Until then, interim laws will take their place.

At the moment, sports wagering in Germany is permitted in some aspects. But as it stands, online gambling in general is heavily restricted. The 2021 regulations will aim to create a nationwide approach to the industry. For now, though, rules are determined on a state-by-state basis.

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