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Germany Plans to Increase Sports Betting Licenses

Germany is considering issuing more sports betting licenses in the face of European Union pressure, but has balked at legalizing online poker.

Germany’s 16 state ministers agreed that the number of available sports betting licenses in the country should be doubled to 40, but a rewrite of its interstate gambling treaty was rejected.

Leaders of Germany’s 16 states assembled in Berlin to discuss the gambling legislation. The country is under pressure from the EU after its top court declared Germany’s current betting system illegal. The EU may be preparing infringement proceedings against the country, the website reported.

Twenty sports betting licenses were awarded by Germany in September 2014, but due to legal challenges by failed applicants, none of these licenses have been activated.

Local media reports said the ministers had agreed that the number of available licenses would be doubled to 40, which would automatically approve licenses to all 35 original applicants who managed to make it to the second stage of the licensing process.

Proposals to extend licensing to include online poker and casino games were reportedly rejected by ministers. An amended treaty is expected to be approved by June.