German Online Betting Prosecution BackfiresPublished November 4, 2015 by Lee R
On appeal, the EU has taken issue with this case of prosecution within the controversial system of regulation within Germany.
The German gambling authority has taken a hit from the EU for criminal prosecution of unauthorized sports bettors.
The EU has decried German authority penalties because the EU claims that German gambling regulations run counter to European law on the matter in the first place.
The Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU) released its opinion through Advocate General Maciej Szpunar in the case of Turkish National Sebat Ince, who is currently residing in Germany.
The act for which Ince was prosecuted within Germany was running a sports bar that provided technology linking German bettors to a Malta-licensed online betting operator. The violation according to German authorities was taking bets without a license; however, a Bavarian court appealed to the CJEU for a review on whether the prosecution itself violated EU prohibitions on the restriction of trade.
Online Betting in Germany
Sports betting in Germany has been legal since it was regulated via the passage of its federal interstate treaty on sports betting in 2012, with a first round of 20 online betting licenses issued in 2014 following a controversial application process.
Ongoing court challenges filed by rejected applicants have blocked the licenses from taking effect, resulting in further scrutiny from the European Commission, revealing incompatibilities with EU law that have initiated consideration of infringement proceedings by the EU against Germany.
The current filing prohibits Germany from prosecuting unlicensed private betting operators due to what Advocate General Szpunar calls a “chaotic” and “inscrutable” tender process capping the number of available licenses at 20 and failing to meet EU transparency standards.
The full ruling by the CJEU on Germany’s licensing regime is expected later this year. As for the ability of German players to continue to play popular online casinos such as Tivoli, EU and bet365 Casino, the German Sports Betting Association (DSWV) expressed its hope that Szpunar’s opinion would be convince the German government to discuss a more equitable and legally compliant gambling regime that could remove the spectre of an online gambling shutdown from Germany's wide customer base of sports betting enthusiasts.