RGA and German eGaming Policies
The previous week the Minister Presidents of the German Lander requested that the draft State Treaty pertaining to egaming must be revised. The European Commission (EC) rejected the proposal and the internet gambling industry criticized it. As a result the repeat call to endorse this proposal drew a sharp response from the Remote Gambling Association (RGA).
RGA looks after the interests of internet gambling operators from across the globe. RGA’s Chief Executive Clive Hawkswood expressed his disappointment at the ostrich-like attitude of the German states. The offer the German states want to put impose by July 2012 restricts the amount of licenses issued to internet casinos to 20, it perpetuates an uncompetitive and impractical 5% turnover tax administration, significantly limiting betting amounts and prohibits internet casinos and poker rooms and live betting. Hawkswood also mentioned that this proposal pales in comparison to the more lucid approach taken by European Union Member States like Denmark and Spain. These countries decided to tax and regulate internet gambling properly and their taxation policies are based on a viable gross profits taxation model.
Hawkswood said, “There appears to be no connection between the desire to provide German citizens with a regulated market.” He also said that the Minister Presidents say on one hand that they want to encourage sports betting with regulated German internet casinos, but at the same token deny its citizens who wish to wager at internet casinos and poker games. Hawkswood stipulated that the proposed internet gambling model in Germany will have no effect in limiting the amount of German citizens gambling at internet casinos licensed in other jurisdictions. Policies to prohibit players from placing bets at foreign-based internet casinos have been futile in the past.
Hawkswood pointed out that the EC stated that the draft State Treaty contravened EU law and the statement from the Minister Presidents will do little to assuage the EC concerns. “In fact, such an approach simply makes the Schleswig-Holstein proposal more attractive and creates a fragmented, confusing and undesirable situation for German consumers,” stated Mr. Hawkswood. So far the German state of Schleswig-Holstein is the only German state that regulates internet gambling, since it failed to reach an agreement on a number of issues with the other German states. Its proposal regulates all gambling products on a gross profits basis and already permitted by the EU.[addtoany]