24 June 2013

State operators do not fulfill command of separation

by Martin Arendts

Section 21 par. 3 of the Interstate Treaty commands that the operation and intermediation of sports bets are strictly separated (“Trennungsgebot”). No “organisational, legal, economic or staff connection” is allowed.

Several of the 16 state operators (one for each German state) do not fulfill this requirement. At least four operators are partly owned by sports associations. The most blatant example is Lotto Rheinland-Pfalz, the operator for the State of Rhineland Palatinate. This operator is partly (49 %) owned by three sports associations. The biggest member of one of these associations, Sportbund Pfalz, is 1. FC Kaiserlautern. This football club is playing in the Bundesliga (at the moment, in the second league). Bets are offered on matches with 1. FC Kaiserlautern.

The proposed new sports betting operator of the state operators, ODS Oddset Deutschland Sportwetten GmbH, is partly owned by Lotto Rheinland-Pfalz. So, from my point of view, ODS GmbH does not fulfill the requirement of separation and should have been excluded from the licensing procedure for this reason.

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