A prominent German jurisdiction that holds responsibility for the awarding of online sports betting licences is continuing to accept licence applications while awaiting an appeal against a court ruling.

The Darmstadt Regional Council (DRC) is still accepting sports betting licence applications even though a court ruling earlier this month prohibited the council from continuing to offer licenses. The authority, which is based in the state of Hesse has filed an appeal with a federal supreme court seeking to overturn the decision of the Darmstadt administrative court.

The DRC have said that they will not issue licences until the appeal is heard but is continuing to accept and applications and review them, so that they will be able to issue licences quickly if their appeal succeeds. As of February, over 50 betting operators had applied through the DRC or had expressed a desire to do so.

The DRC was one of a pair of authorities given responsibility for sports betting licences back in January under the terms of the Third State Treaty on Gambling. But the process was suspended after Vierklee, an Austrian betting company, said that the process lacked transparency. Their claim was that the process also discriminated against operators from outside Germany. The DRC has appealed against the ruling through the Kassel Administrative Court.

The Third State Treaty on Gambling, which came into effect at the beginning of January, is designed to cover the period until the long-debated Fourth State Treaty comes into effect on July 1 next year. That legal framework will authorise online casino and poker games for the first time in Germany. Currently, sports betting is the only form of legal online betting, but the complicated legal situation in Germany has resulted in confusion for punters and operators alike for a number of years and the DRC licencing controversy is only likely to add to that confusion.

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