Gambling License for Sports Betting

General Requirements for the Gambling License for Sports Betting

In professional sports, the performance principle applies, according to which the better athlete or the superior team prevails. Nevertheless, in reality things often turn out differently and an underdog can prevail against the supposed Goliath or the team from the bottom of the league surprisingly wins against the league leader. The outcome of sports competitions is thus uncertain. For this reason, the German Gambling Regulation also regulates sports betting as a game of chance, which requires a gambling license to organize and broker. Organizers and brokers must apply for a gambling license for sports betting from the Joint Gambling Authority of the Federal States (GGL). In particular, applicants must meet the general requirements for the granting of a gambling license by the GGL under the German Gambling Regulation. Thus, the gambling license for sports betting cannot be granted if the sports betting is contrary to the objectives of the German Gambling Regulation, such as the protection of minors and the prevention of addiction. In addition, organizers of sports betting must fully disclose their ownership and shareholding relationships to the GGL in order to obtain a gambling license. Both the organizer of sports betting and third parties commissioned by him to organize the sports betting must be reliable and competent. The economic circumstances of the organizer must also be transparent and orderly.

Gambling License for Sports Betting and Permission of Individual Bets Required

The GGL will grant the gambling license for sports betting upon corresponding application, provided that the applicant fulfills the licensing requirements pursuant to the German Gambling Regulation. Once permission has been granted, the provider will be included in the whitelist of licensed sports betting operators maintained by the GGL. In order to be able to offer a specific sports bet, however, it is also necessary that the GGL has permitted the sports bet to the organizer according to its type and design. Here, according to the German Gambling Regulation, the GGL distinguishes between different types of sports, but also between so-called outcome bets, where bets are placed on the final result of a sports event, and so-called event bets, where bets are placed on specific, singular events during a sports event. In order to offer a specific sports bet, the organizer must submit an application to the GGL. The GGL maintains a list of already permitted sports bets on its website, to which organizers can refer in a permit application. In this case, the GGL has an objection period of two weeks in order to prohibit the sports betting organizer making the application from organizing the event. If the sports betting has never been permitted by the GGL in terms of type and fashion and is therefore not included on the list of permitted sports betting, the organizer must describe it in detail in the application and wait for the express permission of the GGL. Organizers of sports bets must regularly check the list of permitted sports bets, as the permission of a particular bet is considered revoked if the GGL removes it from the list of permitted sports bets.

Strict Separation of the Organization of Sports Betting and Sporting Events

The German Gambling Regulation places particular importance to the separation of the organization of sports events from the organization and brokerage of sports betting. The organizer of a sporting event may not at the same time offer sports betting related to the event, which is intended to counteract manipulation of the sporting competition. Similarly, persons involved in the sports event may not participate in sports betting if they have any influence on its outcome. The German Gambling Regulation also prohibits sports betting that is significantly susceptible to manipulation or jeopardizes the integrity of sports competition. In this respect, the GGL is required as part of the licensing procedure to evaluate the specific circumstances of the sports events in question and the possibilities of influence of the persons involved. A gambling license can also not be granted for a sports betting event that is aimed at the occurrence or sanctioning of conduct that violates or is alleged to violate the rules. In this respect, the German Gambling Regulation also contributes to the integrity of sports and the preservation of the concept of fair play.

The competent lawyer for questions regarding gambling law and the application for a gambling license for sports betting in our law firm is Attorney Lutz Auffenberg, LL.M (London).