For several years, there has been much debate about German law and the licensing of sports betting. It's a country divided up into provinces which often have conflicting laws. Most, if not all, of the 'legal' online betting licences in Germany stem from former East German regions which were somehow able to offer things which weren't allowed elsewhere in the unified country. Now with the EU pushing hard for all member states to allow/regulate online gambling, Germany decided it had better follow suit before it got dragged through the courts forever and a day. And this is what they come up with....
Germany’s non-ratified sports betting proposals
7 five-year licences to be issued
16.67% turnover tax
Live betting but only on final result. No in-play
Only land based casinos would be able to operate online casino
Sports betting advertising only allowed on or in sports arenas and club shirts and not on television
France is the most recent big European nation to build a regulatory structure for online gambling, and it has been condemned as a failure by all and sundry. The whole point of setting up a licensing regime is to regulate it and stop money being bet with firms outside the licensing arrangement. But France introduced an 8.5% turnover tax, plus sports rights fees which bring the total tax rate up to about 11%. Think about that as part of the over-round on a market - on the big football leagues of Europe, few bookies bet over 110% these days. If you were betting a two-way market such as under/over 2.5 goals, that equates to 1.8/1.8 before you consider all the other operating costs. But the French don't stop there. They have another body, the TRJ, meddling where they don't belong, enforcing a rule that bookmakers can pay back no more than 85% of their turnover (117% if you prefer the over-round way of reading percentages). So bookies are forced to make a profit (it's not as easy as it looks folks, believe me) which means they have to offer markets with ridiculously high margins and just rely on mugs losing constantly. Any punters with a clue bet elsewhere and can you blame them?
Germany haven't bothered to read the figures which show how badly the French system is going. Instead they've decided to DOUBLE the rate of turnover tax, with no word on what they will do regarding payments to sports bodies. Germany doesn't have a strong betting culture. Racing is very niche and sports betting isn't heavily in the local psyche, although it has improved in recent years with the likes of bwin having their logo everywhere across Europe.
By the time you account for operating costs and the turnover tax, German punters will be looking at prices on a tennis match of 1.6/1.6. Not even Canada's ProLine or state monopolies in other countries can offer prices that disgraceful!
All this will do is send more money from German citizens to other countries - not such a brilliant idea. Share prices for bwin.party and Betfair dropped sharply today in wake of the news.