A German court has ordered the Hesse Ministry of the Interior and Sport (HMDIS), the body responsible for awarding the country’s 20 sports betting licences, to complete the long-delayed licensing process by next month.

The Administrative Court of Wiesbaden ruled that it would take “appropriate steps to ensure judicial protection for license applicants”. It said that the licence applications had not been dealt with in “a reasonable” amount of time, prompting it to set a three-month deadline.

The interim ruling, which was issued on December 20th last year but only published this week by the Hesse authorities, effectively means that licences would have to be awarded six days after the new deadline by which operators must submit additional documentation to support their applications. However, as an interim decision, HMDIS has the right to appeal.

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