Sport with all its disciplines and competitions is a gigantic industry in today’s world, which makes huge sums every year. The economic power is based not only on the organizations and people involved but also on outsourced economic engines such as sports betting. In Germany and Austria, betting on various sporting events is very popular, so that the respective governments have to create legal frameworks over time. The implementation looks different in both countries.
Legal chaos in Germany
Since the introduction of the State Treaty on Gambling, the law has been on a rollercoaster ride in this area, because despite attempts to reform the federal government has never been able to establish a comprehensive and satisfactory legal situation. In order to cope with the whole situation, the government’s original idea envisaged an unrestricted gaming monopoly by the state sports betting provider Oddset. However, as a member state of the European Union, Germany is bound by EU law, which has recognized a violation of the freedom to compete and provide services in the national regulations. This allows private betting providers to act freely on the German market. Overall, the legal situation of sports betting in the Federal Republic is in a gray area.
On March 21, 2019, the Prime Ministers approved the third gaming amendment contract, which is due to enter into force in 2021. To date, an interim solution has been in place that grants approval to all sports betting providers who legally comply with the regulations for the protection of players and young people.
Not all the details of the change in the law are known yet, but the first information indicates that private betting providers and players in Germany will have to adjust to drastic changes from 2021. The greatest appeal within the change in the law probably has a new limit of 1,000 euros per month. Compliance with the limit is to be guaranteed by a separate authority that oversees all bets by the state. The betting providers should be obliged to pass on the data and bets of their customers.
In addition, live betting (Judi online) is to be restricted. It is planned to abolish the so-called Over / Under heading, which refers to the number of goals in soccer games. Last but not least, there would be a draft that would allow logging into just one betting shop. This is intended to protect players who bet with several providers at the same time.
The legal situation in Austria
In contrast to the German view, sports betting in Austria is not declared as gambling, so that the legal situation in the Alpine state takes a completely different path. Sports betting is much more in the area of skill games and is judged differently accordingly. The basis for the assessment is the fact that games of chance are defined by the aspect of chance. Sports betting, however, is not based solely on the element of chance but can be significantly influenced by the players. Influence is already exerted through the individual decision on which team or which athlete to bet on. In addition, background knowledge can maximize the chance of a profit.
Due to the social and legal classification, private betting providers face significantly less resistance in Austria than in Germany. In the course of the reforms, the Federal Republic opened the market for bookmakers and betting providers, but these are only in a legal gray area due to EU law. In the beginning, there was even a state monopoly on gaming. In Austria, on the other hand, there is freedom of competition so that private providers can act as legal companies in the Alpine state. As is typical of the industry, the practice of the business model is linked to licenses, but otherwise, no bets are placed on sports betting.