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33 German sports betting licensees launch lawsuit against Hesse

33 German licensed sports betting operators have launched a lawsuit against the State of Hesse, in protest of the high level of restrictions in the market.

The Regional Council of Darmstadt will represent Hesse in this in this lawsuit. A spokesperson for the Regional Council said: “All holders of permits for the organization of both land-based and online sports betting have filed lawsuits against individual ancillary provisions in their respective permits.”

Many of the restrictions present in the German markets have been highly criticized, with some warning that the licensed operators were at a serious disadvantage compared to the competition from offshore sites.

The German Sports Betting Association, (DSWV), has also previously spoken out against such restrictions. The DSWV’s president, Mathias Dahms, has even warned that such restrictions could cause players to look too dangerous offshore sites that could potentially be operating illegally.

In 2020, he said: “It should not be forgotten that live betting is particularly popular and accounts for around 60% of all bets.
“Disappointed consumers will turn to black market offerings that don’t comply with legal requirements.”

Online casinos have been available in Germany since last year, but so far no online casino licenses have been granted. Online sports betting is permitted and has been since 2019, but only on licensed sites subject to these strict restrictions.