Internet Gambling News Europe

The German state of Schleswig Holstein decided to pursue its own internet gambling ventures when it decided to break away from the other states. Recently it announced its license fees ahead of accepting new license applications in January 2012.

Operators will have to fork out €15,000. Yearly fees will cost in excess of €15,000 to €150,000 pending on revenue. Hopefully, this proposal will be ratified before the end of October, 2011. Close sources within the state administration notified Cassaon-casino that prominent European sites have shown significant interest in this proposal.

At this stage Denmark is one up on the German state of Schleswig Holstein. The Danish licensing authority disclosed that it has not received feedback from internet gambling operators concerning its proposed offer. So far the response has been met with mixed feelings, since some operators claim that the criteria were harsh in conjunction with an exorbitant tax rate. 43 sites submitted applications for 68 licenses so far. The Danish Gambling Authority said to date there are 25 applications for internet casino and sports betting licenses and 22 applications for dedicated licenses. In January 2012 the Denmark internet gambling market will be open for business.

Unfortunately the news from Greece is not as good, ten to one this was to be expected. Having just received €850 million as license fees from the Greek gambling monopoly OPAP, the government decided not to sell its share in OPAP. The government’s 34% stake sale in OPAP was originally planned for the fourth quarter of 2011 in an effort to pay outstanding debt to certain European and global lenders. Important privatization officials in the government said that the sale will take place in 2012.

A representative refused to talk to us when asked the reason for this sudden change of heart. One can only guess that OPAP shares devaluated by more than 53% the last six months, which is in line with the Greek stock market’s sharp decline. Should it sell its OPAP shares it would fetch only half of the projected value.

On the bright side, some of the other gambling institutions will be sold. CEO of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRAF), Costas Mitropoulos told Cassaon-casino in an interview that a public tender for the state lottery will be announced this month. It is aims to raise €1.7 billion. He also said, “Possibly by the end of the year we will tender the horse-racing and betting organization ODIE.” In total the Greek government must raise € 50 billion by 2015 from selling state assets in order to alleviate government costs. Hence the reason the sale of OPAP is imperative to achieving this goal.



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