Betfair Complains to EU About Germany's Gambling Treaty

07 July 2011

A draft over Germany’s gambling rules, which is still being considered by German authorities has Betfair Group Plc, a British online gambling site, already calling foul. According to Betfair, the draft will force it to pay over 16% on all stakes and it will also restrict licenses for private betting companies to seven. According to Betfair these new rules would be “discriminatory and protectionist.”

Betfair complained to the European Union this week over this draft proposal. The EU Court of Justice already ruled in September of last year that Germany’s betting monopoly violates European laws because it is not coherent. Currently Germany only allows state-owned companies to offer sports betting.

The current state betting treaty from Germany would completely overhaul the country’s state monopoly on sports betting but some think it is not going far enough. According to Martin Cruddace, chief legal and regulatory affairs officer at London-based Betfair:

“Although the federal states claim to be opening up the market for sports betting, the current draft treaty is riddled with disproportionate, discriminatory and protectionist measures designed to keep private online operators out of the market. If the treaty came into force it would neither set incentives for customers to play with licensed operators nor would it stand up to the scrutiny of the EU Court.”

Germany and the EU have yet to comment on the complaint from Betfair. Germany reached a preliminary agreement on the new rules in April but all the leaders of Germany’s 16 states agreed to delay the final decision until October of this year.

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