Walk then Run: German Federal Government Floats an Updated Regulation Model

Published March 22, 2017 by Lee R

Walk then Run: German Federal Government Floats an Updated Regulation Model

Germany might have a new federal gambling treaty cooking, but the EU has yet to be convinced.

After what has seemed like endless complications, is German regulation really rounding into form? 

New Gaming Treaty

The news that Germany’s 16 states have come together to approve a new federal gambling treaty appears at first glance to be a major boost to prospects for regulation in Europe’s largest individual regulatory jurisdiction. 

Lifting the Cap

Within a year, the State Treaty on Gambling is set to lift a lugubrious cap on sports betting licences available to new applicants in January 2018, in a market where new applicants have been clamouring at the gates for some time. 

Regulatory Improvements

Promising additional provisions of the new treaty include stricter enforcement of unauthorised operators and the opening of the door to future legalisation of online casino gambling activity.

EU on the Fence

Nonetheless, the developments are not favoured by all. The European Commission has expressed opposition already, claiming the Treaty is “not a viable solution” to the issues the 2012 treaty failed to address.

History of Cap Conflict

The cap issues stretch back to the first gambling Treaty of 2012, which was actually ratified by all 16 states after passing.  Then came time to issue licenses: with the regulated German market attracting some 35 eager gambling operators, a full 15 were frozen out because of the treaty’s 20-license cap. 

EU Violates

The result was so heavily criticized that the EU Court of Justice eventually ruled the law illegal in violation of Article 56 European free trade standards among member states.

A New Cap?

Concerns regarding new regulations revolve around yet another cap, this time on the provision of sports betting services to only a handful of operators, resulting in what many analysts say have the potential for another violation of Number 56.


With a complicated regulatory oversight, the German knot may still need to be untied bit by bit. Nonetheless, the loosening of licensing caps has to be seen as a step in the right direction and indicative of a sincere intention to devise a workable regulation model. 

Best Wishes

Let’s extend the German state as well as federal government our best hopes for learning to work effectively with operators and the EU so that the biggest market in Europe can harness the benefits of effective regulation. 

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