German States Contemplate Online Gambling

The German state of Schleswig Holstein (SH) paved the way toward liberal online gambling legislation which has been welcomed by the European Union (EU) and industry experts. Recent elections were held which resulted in a change in political leadership.

Various prominent members of the new regime said that they will appeal the current progressive licensing and regulation policy and join the other states in signing the restrictive State Treaty. All is not doom and gloom, the Ministry of the Interior confirmed that until the law is amended or repealed, the current legislation process will not be placed on ice. If the current legislative process is amended, this might result in a costly law suit since seven major online gambling companies already invested based on the licenses they’ve received.

Schleswig Holstein (SH) Online Gambling

The Public Gaming Research Institute issued a report which stated that SH  issued sports betting licenses that is valid for 6 years. At the beginning of June, 2012 licenses were issued to bet-at-home, bwin, Bet365, and Sportingbet by the Ministry of the Interior. The Ministry confirmed that twenty four online casinos already applied for sports betting licenses. These applications will be evaluated in stages and are under consideration. In all probability within the next couple of weeks six new sports betting licenses will be issued and at a later stage an additional four to six licenses will be issued. With regard to an online casino gaming licenses seventeen operators applied.

The future of online gambling still looks pretty uncertain for the German state of SH. The more authorities tread on the liberal path, the more difficult it is to retract their steps. The rest of the German states are heading in the opposite direction. The debate on a new Interstate Treaty on gambling which will replace the one that expired in 2011 still rages on. The states however are trying to continue as normal by placating the EU with sweet nothings. The few proposals that have been sent to the EU were turned down.

The latest report states that 13 states have reached some form of agreement with regard to gambling online. Before a new treat is considered 13 is the minimum threshold. The decision was reached the previous week when Thuringia and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern accepted. As of 1 July, 2012 it seems like the four-year new treaty will come into effect. It’s not as stringent as the one before it. Priced at a hefty €50 million each it makes provision for 20 private sports betting licenses which must pay a 5% turn over tax. Pertaining to private operators, it seem like internet gambling still remains a pipeline dream for the time being since the German market is a very lucrative one.



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