Bonn, 12 October 2020. Following twenty years of struggle, 15 sports‑betting concessions were issued on 9 October 2020, by virtue of which 75% of the German sports‑betting market is now regulated.
The Gaming Board (Glücksspielkollegium), within whose domain the decision fell, met last Wednesday and Thursday to deliberate over and take a decision on the issue of sports‑betting licenses for the enterprises involved. Issue of the licenses was being held up, however, by an injunctive decision handed down by Darmstadt Administrative Court on 1 April 2020 blocking the issue of licenses (Darmstadt Administrative Court, decision from 1 April 2020 – 3 L 446/20.DA).
The issue of the licenses was nevertheless made possible on Friday because Redeker attorney Dr Ronald Reichert and his team were able to reach an agreement with the applicant and its counsel in the proceedings in the weeks before on behalf of two clients persuading the applicant to withdraw it injunctive action in return for a flat sum compensation amount for the harm it had suffered. After the Hessian Administrative Court had in response to the petition overturned the decision issued by Darmstadt Administrative Court on Friday afternoon, it was possible to issue the licenses the same afternoon.
“Nobody expected the licenses to be issued at this juncture. We are pleased that we have been able to make a decisive contribution to resolution of this two‑decades‑old dispute,” is how Ronald Reichert summed up the latest developments.
The team led by Dr. Ronald Reichert, a partner at Redeker Sellner Dahs and a specialist in administrative law, had already been instrumental in the achievement of key milestones in the regulation of sports betting. On 28 March 2006, Reichert and his team managed to obtain a ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court rebuking the former sports betting monopoly on behalf of their client (1 BvR 1054/01), and in 2010, once again, they successfully petitioned the European Court of Justice to rebuff a renewed monopolisation of the sector in the guise of the Interstate Treaty on Gambling from 1 January 2008 (ECJ, judgement of 8 September 2020 – C‑316/07 et al, Markus Stoß). When the German Länder subsequently sought to establish a sports betting market limited to 20 participants in place of the sports betting monopoly, Dr. Reichert's team succeeded in halting the issue of licenses in 2015 (Hessian Superior Administrative Court, decision of 16 October 2015 – 8 B 1028/15). Proposals for new arrangements were initially rejected by the Länder. The new system only entered into force on 1 January of this year.