Betfair fulfilled its promise and submitted a formal complaint against the proposed German gambling laws to the European Commission.
Foreign based online casinos and sportsbooks in Germany have long been against the draconian legislation passed by the majority of German states, seeing it as anti-competitive and written specifically to only benefit the country’s casino monopolies.
The complaint claims that the draft of the new German regulations still favors and protects German provincial gambling monopolies. Betfair Sportsbook asked the Commission to take immediate action in order to force all German states (except Schleswig Holstein) to fully comply with the rulings of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the free market principles of the EU.
Despite several minor tweaks in the draft laws following ECJ rulings, the regulation proposals are still catering to state gambling companies via various concession requirements and selection criteria. Betfair claims that online gambling monopolies including online casinos in Germany have effectively remained in place.
The latest revision of the draft law include among others a reduced tax rate and an increase in total number of licenses for potential applicant operators from 7 to 20.
Betfair’s Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer, Martin Cruddace, told Germany gambling news: “The salient points of the European Commission’s detailed opinion have as of yet not been addressed … under these current proposals Germany’s new state treaty will be out of line and out of touch with fundamental EU law.”
Betfair’s complaint may become an obstacle in German states’ attempt to receive EC’s approval by the target date of December 15.
The complaint did not seem to be a big concern for a spokesman from the Rhineland-Pfalz state, who expressed his confidence in obtaining the necessary support of the EC in this dispute.
We will continue to monitor the latest developments and report as soon as some new information on the matter becomes available.
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