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German Sportsbooks Partner against Hesse in One Massive Lawsuit


All 33 German licensed sportsbooks have teamed up in a joint lawsuit against the State of Hesse. The reason why the operators decided to sue Hesse is the strict market regulations and as critics state, operators based in Germany have a clear disadvantage over offshore companies.

The German Sports Betting Association Thinks That Players Will Be Pushed to the Black Market

Hesse, the defendant in the case, will be represented by the Regional Council of Darmstadt. A spokesperson of the council confirmed the news as he said that both land-based and online licensed sports betting operators in Germany have filed lawsuits.

On July 1, the Third State Treaty on Gambling allowed online operators to offer their services in Germany. Up until that point, the only form of legal online wagering was sports betting. With the new regulatory framework, slots and poker games were allowed. Most recently, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s largest state, approved iGaming.

However, operators continued to face a lot of restrictions. One of the strictest restrictions concerns in-play betting as German punters can only bet on the match winner and number of goals. That is why the German Sports Betting Association (DSWV) was vocal about these restrictions. The association stated that the restrictions are more than likely to push players to the black market.

Mathias Dahms, the president of the DSWV even stated that live betting is responsible for 60% of all bets placed on sports. He noted that due to the restrictions, customers will be disappointed and hence, will search for alternative solutions at sites that “don’t comply with legal requirements.”

Other restrictions include a 5.3% tax on turnover for operators, a  €2 ($2.1) cap on slots, as well as several conditions on table games.

Pressure Is Coming from All Sides

Not only are operators filing a lawsuit, but other parties are not pleased with how the industry is being regulated in the country. According to the DSWV, the amount of sports betting has increased immensely and that is why the association urges a better regulation and action against illegal sites.

DSWV even put major emphasis on the 2022 FIFA World Cup. It stated that the changes need to be made before the start of this competition as it is considered one of the biggest events in the sports betting calendar.

Additionally, a soccer fan alliance is pushing for a ban on sports betting advertisements. Our Curve, a fan alliance that represents the interests of numerous supporters of German soccer clubs issued its concerns over sports betting exposure and according to it, the ads are picturing sports betting as a “natural part of soccer and fan culture.”

In an official report, the alliance called on politicians to act immediately and regulate sports betting ads. Additionally, Our Curve wants authorities to “carry out intensive education and prevention.”

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