European Court of Justice Advocate General Maciej Szpunar issued an opinion Thursday stating that unlicensed sports betting providers operating in Germany cannot be prosecuted as they are not operating in a regulatory framework which is legal under European law.

Szpunar's opinion comes ahead of another ruling by the European Court of Justice due later this year, which could see the European Commission launch infringement proceedings against Germany over its controversial gambling legislation.

Today’s opinion relates to the case of Sebat Ince, an Austrian sports betting broker who the Bavarian authorities had attempted to prosecute for operating without a licence. The ECJ had been asked to issue an opinion after a German court raised series of doubts as to whether the country’s gambling laws were compliant with European Union law.

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