20th of May 2010 Author: Glo Wood
With the football World Cup on the immediate horizon, a new drive to break the monopoly
The Right2Bet initiative that encourages business equity in European online gambling regulation reports in its latest circular that Germany's Olympic Sports Federation has called upon the government to legalise sports betting.
The lucrative but monopolistic stranglehold that German states have on betting will be difficult to break, but adding the voice of influential bodies such as the Olympic Sports Federation is undoubtedly a positive development. This is especially so as it has combined with Germany's biggest football league - the Bundesliga - in calling for an end to the German Interstate Gambling Treaty of 2006.
Currently, Germany forbids its citizens from betting online, unless they do so with the State monopoly provider, and it is exactly this type of situation that right2bet is trying to reverse.
Riught2Bet comments: 'The betting industry does not differ from other sectors in that when only one operator is permitted to offer its services, customers directly lose out in terms of the quality of product, the range of service, and the value they derive from it. In fact, Our Betting challenge shows that German punters forced to bet with Lotto Bayern, are subjected to odds that are on average 34 percent worse than other private European operators.
'Yet aside from the direct misgivings mentioned above, German customers, and sports fans in particular also suffer as a result of their sports clubs and associations being forced by the government to shun an industry that is willing and able to pour millions of Euros into all levels of German sport.'
The pressure group goes on to explain that German sports clubs are prevented from signing sponsorship deals with major European betting operators, and this in turn disadvantages them when facing competition elsewhere on the Continent.
There are other benefits to having large and reputable foreign gambling groups in the German market, not least of which is the ability to flag suspicious bets in the fight against corruption in sports. This is something that many top online gambling companies regularly action, using sophisticated tracking capability to warn sporting authorities of suspicious activity.
The tight restrictions on German punters also encourage them to go elsewhere for more competitive action, and not always to safe or reputable offshore venues.
'This dangerous status quo can in our opinion only be reversed when the relevant authorities choose to work together with sporting bodies and the betting industry, not against them,' Right2Bet opines.
'The decision of the OSF to come out in support of this policy-change is a vital step in the right direction. We hope that they, along with the consumers signing our petition, will force the German authorities to review their current position which continues to disadvantage their sporting institutions and their citizens.'
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