Hesse Sports Association calls for action on German gaming legislation

The Sports Association of Hesse (Landessportbund) has called for major changes to Germany's State Treaty on Gambling, warning that sports in the state are missing out on vital funds as a result of the long-running impasse.

The Landessportbund notes that almost half a year has passed since the Hessian Adminstrative Court ruled that the concession process to award Germany's twenty sports betting licences was unlawful.

“Since then nothing has happened,” Landessportbund president Dr Rolf Müller said. “This has resulted in the award of concessions for sports betting providers being on hold since 2012.

“Organised sports are in urgent need of funds from sports betting to fulfil their social responsibilities in a viable manner,” he said.

“Each day lost through the impasse over the Treaty is a day lost for the promotion of sports. And too many days have been lost.”

Müller and his association are therefore urging the Minister Presidents of Germany’s 16 states, who are due to hold a conference this week, to act quickly to end the current stalemate.

The Landessportbund has more than two million individual members from 7,800 sporting clubs, 54 sporting associations and 13 specialist bodies, and works for the development of sports in the state of Hesse. It supports social causes serving the interests of women, girls, minors, the elderly, the disabled and immigrants.

The association is among those that back proposals put forward by Hesse Interior Minister Peter Beuth in October 2015, after he admitted that the State Treaty has “failed” in its current form.

Beuth proposed that the limit on the number of available sports betting licences be removed and operators allowed to offer casino and poker products alongside sports betting. He also argued that the Glücksspielkollegium, the current gambling regulator in Germany, be scrapped in favour of a new federal regulator.

“Now is the time for the states to agree with one another and find a solution that will ensure no further damage is inflicted on organised sports,” Müller concluded.


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