New federal gambling treaty approved by German states

Blackjack with gambling chips

There has been a lot of change with German gambling regulations over the last few years, and a recent treaty involving the country’s 16 states should see yet more change for gamblers in the future. But, it seems that the new proposals should make things better for players, whether they are sports fans looking to bet on the Bundesliga or casino fans looking to hit the tables on their Lucky Nugget Casino app.

Furthermore, a law was passed in Parliament that will see match-fixing and betting fraud become illegal, something that blighted German football in 2005.

The new gambling treaty could increase the options for sports betting fans
The new gambling treaty could increase the options for sports betting fans

What is the new federal gambling treaty?

Germany’s 16 states have approved a new federal gambling treaty which could primarily lead to the expansion and growth of the country’s sports betting markets. Under the current rules, from the treaty back in 2012, only 20 sports betting licenses could be issued across the country. This cap has been somewhat controversial in the past and previous attempts to lift it have failed due to legal challenges by operators. However, the new treaty, which would be applied from January 1, 2018, will see the old ruling changed.

Although, the new treaty must still be ratified officially by each state in Germany before it officially begins. And, with the long delays that have halted such plans in the past, it’s anticipated that similar problems could arise. What’s more, despite the initial approval, the new treaty has received criticism from the European Commission (EC), who have stated that the new treaty did not present a “viable solution” to the problems the 2012 treaty has created.

On the other hand, the German Sports Betting Association have declared that the approval is a “small step in the right direction”. Whilst those involved in the betting industry also feel that this will improve the German market overall.

Given the demand and popularity of the sports betting market, it seems that expanding the market is natural, which is what the treaty will set out to do. An astonishing €4.86bn in wagers were made back in 2015 and figures will no doubt have continued to grow since.

However, that growth can lead to more potential problems in terms of maintaining the high standards that are set. When the initial 20 licenses were handed out, 35 operators wanted to receive one. So, under the new treaty they would all be granted a license, but will need to meet the strict guidelines and legislations that have ensured the sports gambling market remains above board.

Match-fixing becomes illegal

Robert Hoyzer
Robert Hoyzer was a referee involved in a match-fixing scandal in 2005. The new law makes it a criminal offence.

Finally, a law has just passed that has made match-fixing and betting fraud illegal. In 2005, Germany was at the centre of its own scandal that saw referee Robert Hoyzer bet and fix football matches in games as high as the Bundesliga II.

Now, it is illegal to conspire to fix sporting events, and any coaches, referees or players who are guilty of any such activity will face prison sentences ranging from three to five years, depending on the seriousness of the case.

Overall, the new gambling treaty may be met by opposing views but it could lead to an expansion in the already popular sports betting market with the increase in licenses. The challenge will be to maintain the high standards to ensure the quality of the gaming services doesn’t drop.