In many sports betting tests, the license of the bookmaker is referred to again and again. But what is it actually about these licenses. In the following guide, we have taken a closer look at the sports betting license and want to bring a little “light into the darkness”. At the same time, we take a look at the legal situation in Germany
Why is a license important?
Every business on the Internet has something to do with trust. No sports bettor really knows his counterpart – the tips are made almost anonymously. Of course, it is theoretically possible that a windy businessman puts a sports betting portal on the World Wide Web and simply wants to collect customer funds through it. This is certainly the hardest form of fraud.
On the other hand, the “bookie” may well have meant his start, but simply does not have the financial background to run a betting business. Logically, the bookies have the mathematical advantage over their customers, but it can still happen that very large sums have to be paid out within a very short time. Sports betting is always a small competition between the provider and the customer – the outcome is open. The sports betting license confirms the seriousness of the betting provider on the one hand, but also its integrity and financial background on the other. Only those who can present a corresponding license are allowed to legally distribute bets via the online channel. Of course, the stationary bookies also need a corresponding license.
Surely, some newcomers will now ask themselves where the sports betting license can be viewed. Every good online bookmaker publishes this security data on its website. Usually, the necessary information can be found at the bottom of the homepage or in the imprint. If this is not the case, alarm bells should go off with users. Never register on a website that does not contain sports betting license data.
Who gets a sports betting license?
The sports betting license is granted only upon application by the respective regulatory authorities. The companies must disclose their complete financial circumstances for this purpose. Furthermore, a not inconsiderable fee as well as a security deposit must be deposited. Already at this point the wheat is separated from the chaff.
Of course, the company owners and managers are also closely scrutinized. Only those who can substantiate their seriousness have a chance of obtaining a sports betting license. The money is not the only or the decisive allocation criterion.
Which supervisory authorities are considered to be particularly safe?
In Europe, Malta and Gibraltar have proven to be pioneers in the online scene in recent years. The two small states have taken advantage of the disunity of the “big guys” and proved to be a safe haven for sports betting providers. Anyone who thinks that the bookmakers’ settlements in the two countries are only associated with tax advantages is sorely mistaken. Both regulatory authorities ensure a legally impeccable betting environment – for betting providers and customers alike. The Malta Gaming Authority in particular has also proven to be a very strict controller. If there are irregularities at a bookie, the license may be revoked immediately. The Gaming Commission in Great Britain and the supervisory body in Isle of Man are also considered progressive in Europe.
It should not be forgotten at this point that the two Caribbean states of Curacao and Antigua and Barbuda also have valuable sports betting licenses. The licenses are in no way inferior to the European paper.
What is the legal situation in Germany?
From a legal perspective, sports betting in Germany still “enjoys” a shadowy existence in the gray zone. Although the EU directives have long since set the pace and are being implemented by many other countries, there is simply no progress in the Federal Republic. One grotesquerie follows the other.
There is still a strong lobby, especially in Berlin government circles, which wants to keep all gambling under state control with all its might. In the matter of sports betting, there is a special “protection” for the “state bookmaker” Oddset. The fact that the bets with the Toto and Lotto offerer are simply only “bad”, is at this point simply left out. What is worse is that the Berlin law-makers actually cite the fight against gambling addiction as the reason for their blockade attitude. EU requirements have been disregarded or simply ignored for many years.
The permits from Schleswig Holstein
SHSurely some readers have heard of a sports betting license from Schleswig Holstein. The Ministry of the Interior of the northern German state actually set to work in 2012 to implement the EU directives. The licenses from Schleswig Holstein are valid until 2018 and, by the way, legally cover the entire Federal Republic. At the time, the northern Germans had also refused to join the new state gambling treaty.
At the same time, the Ministry of the Interior had developed a very fair tax model that would have benefited the state budget. The rules were pushed through by the CDU-FDP coalition at the time. Incidentally, the consequence was that the federal government felt compelled to incorporate the German betting tax into the Racing and Lotteries Act of 1921. Since federal law stands above state law, the progressive northern Germans were recaptured with a little legal “trick”. In the meantime, by the way, the new red-green state government has subsequently acceded to the gambling treaty of the states.
The current licensing procedure
In the last two years there was then the grotesque par excellence. On behalf of the federal government, the Ministry of the Interior was supposed to distribute 20 sports betting licenses in Hesse. The problem with this whole affair, however, was that no one on the part of the legislators could explain exactly why only 20 licenses were issued. At the same time, the selection conditions were unclear from the very beginning.
Logically, this success has not helped the bookies so far. The rejected companies have inevitably gone to court. As a result, several administrative judges have stopped the awarding of sports betting licenses.
The “black Peter” is now of course the Hessian Minister of the Interior Peter Beuth. However, the politician has taken a clear position several times in recent months. The tenor of his statements has long been that every applicant must receive a license, provided that the necessary requirements are met. Otherwise, the sports betting license could also be played out directly at the roulette table.
It remains to be hoped that Peter Beuth will be listened to in Berlin. The work of the federal government in recent years in the matter of sports betting can be summed up simply: “We start some bubbles without legal background and afterwards we wonder publicly why it did not work”. To put it in the style of government spokesman Seibert: “We have worked to the best of our knowledge and belief – I have nothing to add to that”.