A three month delay may not seem like much, but when it comes to the meticulous execution of German gambling laws, it is a significant setback.
Originally planning to start issuing new licenses for sports betting in Germany as early as May 2013, a new target date of mid-August has been set. There has also been speculation that some licenses may be issued earlier.
This is the first major legal hurdle the government is facing since passing the Interstate Treaty on Gambling in 2012, enacting a ban on various forms of internet gambling, such as on online casinos in Germany.
The current holdup is due to a recent administrative court ruling last month, essentially slamming the tendering process as opaque and unpredictable, and ordering the authorities to re-invite certain excluded bidders. While it is not unusual for losing bidders to take tenders to court, it happens much less often during the tendering phase itself.
Until the situation is resolved, the process of issuing these licenses may have to be suspended.
While this delay is no terrific news for punters, lawyers certainly rejoice, as both Berlin and the bidders have been hiring legal advice to deal with the situation.
Apparently the German sports betting market remains a monopoly for a few more months, while competitors to the state-run ODDSET stand impatiently at the door.