“Das Vegas” market opening remains on track

The opposition party in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein (SH) has failed with a last-minute bill bid to derail the opening of the German state’s online betting market to private operators from March.

The SPD party filed the bill late last year to repeal last September’s law to issue unlimited licences to operators for all products based on a 20% gross profit tax (GPT), ahead of the licensing and regulatory framework coming into effect next month. The bill had its second reading and a vote today.

However, the ruling CDU and FDP coalition in the northermost state today prevailed in the parliamentary vote by a narrow majority, according to local press reports, giving the green light to the gambling regulator to start issuing licences from March, workload permitting. Betfair and PartyPoker and PartyCasino brand owner digital entertaiment are among the operators understood to have filed licence applications in Schleswig-Holstein.

SH was the only one of the 16 German federal states not to sign up to a new Interstate Gambling Treaty under which the remaining 15 Lander (G15) plan to issue no more than 20 licences for private sports betting operators based on an unworkable 5% turnover tax.

The proposed G15 framework, despite representing an improvement on the seven licences and 16.67% turnover tax originally proposed, is also unlikely to gain approval from the European Commission (EC).

SH’s law to issue unlimited licences for poker, sports betting, casino and exchange betting got the green light from the EC in May of last year.

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Image used courtesy of a Creative Commons 2.0 licence.


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