The European Commission has joined the chorus of critics of Germany’s stalled online gambling regulatory regime. Late last month, the EC issued a formal rebuke of Germany’s three-year-old federal interstate gambling treaty. It’s been nearly one year since Germany awarded 20 federal online sports betting licenses but legal challenges by rejected applicants have prevented any of these licenses from taking effect.
This failure to launch loomed large in the EC’s shaming letter, but it was far from the only criticism. The EC also chastised the lack of transparency during the license application process and questioned the reasoning behind Germany’s decision to restrict licensed operators to sports betting while banning online casino and poker products.
The EC suggested that the treaty had clearly failed in its stated objective of reducing the scale of unauthorized operators, which continue to represent nearly one-third of the country’s online market. The EC also challenged Germany to demonstrate what successes – if any – the treaty had achieved in reducing the rates of problem gambling and money laundering activity.
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