In the fight against money laundering, Bremen demands proof of the legal origin of the money from all sports betting offices. According to the interior senator, none of the 32 facilities succeeded in doing this. You must now close.
The sports betting offices in Bremen have to close for the time being. After delivery of the notices sent by the regulatory office to the four betting operators last week, all sports betting offices in the city of Bremen are illegal, said Bremen's Senator for the Interior, Ulrich Mäurer. The tolerated companies have until midnight to close voluntarily. Eight new sports betting offices that have been applied for are also not allowed to open.
Bremen is the only federal state that obliges the operators of local betting shops to disclose the origin of their start-up capital. Mäurer said none of the 32 betting shops in the Hanseatic city could prove the legal origin of the capital. The companies were allowed to submit documents up to this Friday. So far, documents for a total of 19 betting shops have been received.
The background to the procedure is a change in the gambling law in Bremen a year ago. This was intended to close a loophole in the nationwide money laundering law, as the senator said: "Against the background of a comprehensive risk analysis by the Federal Ministry of Finance on sectors that are particularly susceptible to money laundering, our central concern was the legal origin of the money required for the brokerage of sports betting means to check."
Bremen's interior senator rejected the accusation of reputational damage: "If an industry is demonstrably misused for laundering dirty money from drug and human trafficking, then it is not only legitimate, but imperative to prevent and take a close look." Nobody is implying that money is actually being laundered in sports betting offices in the state of Bremen. There is currently no evidence for this. However, the police are ready to start investigations immediately, said Mäurer.