German football pressures for a more open market

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Germany's beleaguered gambling monopoly challenged from a new quarter

Germany's football league has added further pressure on the sixteen German lander (states) currently monopolising gambling, demanding a more open market.

The league is threatening to charge betting companies for use of the Bundesliga fixture list, unless regional states open up the sports betting market to more competition, reports the Reuters news agency.

The fixture list of 612 matches played in the top two tiers each season is a unique database and should be protected by intellectual property rights, DFL soccer league manager Christian Seifert said on Wednesday.

"Professional sports and amateur sports have to get their share of the income," if necessary by charging others for using Bundesliga fixture lists, Seifert said.

Reuters reports that Germany's 16 states have an iron grip on the gambling market, although they are considering the award of seven nationwide licenses for sports betting companies from next year. Licensees will be required to pay one-sixth of the betting income to the states as fees.

Independent online gambling companies such as digital have criticised the states' plans as anti-competitive.

The German sports betting market is estimated to be worth about €5 billion ($7.2 billion).

Source: InfoPowa News