The German state of Hesse planned to offer 20 sports betting licenses for which it received applications from around 150 betting operators, 90 of which had the needed requisites. At the end of a process described by most as rather arbitrary, during which the state interviewed only 14 of the 90 companies, it eventually selected 10 betting operators, including Bet365, Bet-at-home, Betfair, Casinos Austria, Goldesel, Intermedia, Oddsline, RaceBets, Tipp3 and Tipico, to grant them a sports betting license in the summer.
BetVictor, one of the companies that had all the requisites for a license, but was not invited for an interview, filed a lawsuit in the state's capital city Wiesbaden and obtained to delay the award of the sports betting licenses until 2014. Meanwhile other betting operators lamented a lack of transparency in the tender procedure.
In a white paper published in anticipation of WrBriefing Germany, Wulf Hambach, partner of law firm Hambach & Hambach, stated: "Since there were more than 90 applicants who made it to the second round, it is only a question of time when the arbitrary limitation of licenses and the somewhat confusing tender procedure, which was initially managed by the law firm that normally represents the German gambling state monopoly, will be challenged in court."
Bookmakers Review understands the Ministry of Interior started to interview law firms that can assist the state of Hesse if the number of pending lawsuits from disgruntled betting operators will significantly increase.