Betfair claiming foul on Germany’s new gambling rules
British online gaming site Betfair filed a complaint on July 1 to the European Union, complaining about the new proposal Germany is considering that would alter its gaming landscape.
Germany currently operates its sports betting and lotteries through a state-monopoly. The EU ruled in September that the German betting monopoly violated European laws because it was not coherent, but Germany’s top administrative court upheld the private online-betting ban as it believed the rules were in line with constitutional and EU law.
The new treaty would see just seven private companies allowed licenses, but it would include those businesses to pay a 16.67 percent tax on all stakes, plus not allowing customers to bet more than €750 per month.
Germany said the stipulations are to prevent gambling addiction, but Betfair claims the curbs would condemn any business to financial losses. It is a complete overhaul of the current system, but one that Betfair believes is more of a problem, rather than a solution.
“Although the federal states claim to be opening up the market for sports betting, the current draft treaty is riddled with disproportionate, discriminatory and protectionist measures designed to keep private online operators out of the market,” Betfair’s chief legal and regulatory affairs officer Martin Cruddace said Monday. “If the treaty came into force it would neither set incentives for the customers to play with licensed operators nor would it stand up to the scrutiny of the EU Court.”
The German commission has until mid-July to respond to the complaint, but some damage has already been done – the uncertainty over regulation in Germany (and other European markets) have helped lead to Betfair’s share price to be halved on the stock market since listing last October.