International edition
September 18, 2020

It described it as “discriminatory and protectionist”

Betfair complains about draft German gambling rules to EU

(UK).- Betfair Group complained to the European Union over draft German gambling rules it described as “discriminatory and protectionist.” Betfair said the state betting treaty, which is still being considered by German authorities, would unfairly force it to pay a 16.67 % tax on all stakes.

T

he law would also restrict licenses for private betting companies to seven, according to a complaint the company said it filed on July 1.

The state betting treaty would overhaul the country’s state monopoly on sports betting and lotteries that was attacked as unjustified by the EU’s highest court in a ruling last year.

“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,” Martin Cruddace, chief legal and regulatory affairs officer at London-based Betfair, said in a statement. “If the treaty came into force it would neither set incentives for customers to play with licensed operators nor would it stand up to the scrutiny of the” EU Court.

The EU Court of Justice ruled in September 2010 that Germany’s betting monopoly, which only allows state-owned companies to offer most sports betting, violates European laws because it’s not coherent. The online-betting ban was upheld on June 1 by Germany’s top administrative court, which said the rules were in line with constitutional and EU law.

State Premiers
The leaders of Germany’s 16 states last month delayed until October a decision on the draft rules, according to Kurt Beck, the prime minister of Rhineland-Palatinate. State premiers in April reached a preliminary agreement on the new rules.

Rainer Metke, a spokesman for the German state government of Saxony-Anhalt, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment. Saxony-Anhalt is currently presiding over the talks among the German states on the new gaming state treaty.

Chantal Hughes, a spokeswoman for Michel Barnier, the EU’s internal market commissioner, declined to immediately comment. The commission, the 27-nation EU’s executive arm, is responsible for checking whether national legislation complies with region- wide rules.

Barnier’s department at the Brussels-based European Commission is conducting a review of gaming laws across the region.

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