The break-away German province of Schleswig-Holstein defied the federal government and enacted its own German gambling laws, allowing online gambling in the state. Now, the waiting time is over and the first three online sports betting licenses have been given out.
The licenses were awarded for a period of six years to the following operators of online sportsbooks in Germany: Betfair, JAXX (myBet), and NordWest Lotto. Others are expected to follow soon as the Interior Minister Klaus Schlie spoke about more online poker and casino game licenses being awarded in the coming couple of weeks.
The license hand out follows a long fought battle between the liberal Schleswig-Holstein state and the other fifteen German states, accompanied by strong criticism of the highly restrictive regulations from the EC and other gambling industry players.
At the start the operators will only be able to provide their services within the state borders and will pay gross profit tax of twenty percent contrary to the more heavy tax on turnover. Germany gambling news learned that the country’s gambling market is estimated at about EUR 5 million annually.
CEO of JAXX, Mathias Dahms, had the following comments: “Of course we are very proud to hold one of the first Schleswig-Holstein sports betting licenses in our hands, the approval for myBet has already become a historical document, because it is for a future-oriented regulation of the gaming system. The regulatory authority in Kiel has achieved a particularly complex and demanding process, which in some cases significantly exceed the requirements in other European countries. It was a tough job.”
He went on to add: “Schleswig-Holstein is seen as the only State to formulate a European and constitutional compliant law, which takes into account the interests of the players, the provider and the country alike. The treaty draft of the other 15 states is obviously a bad compromise, which has become entangled in a federal scrub. Even the opposition in the State Parliament will now find that their own gambling law is good for the country and its finances.”
Chief Legal and Regulatory Affairs Officer at Betfair, Martin Cruddace, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded one of the first three licenses to operate in Schleswig-Holstein. We look forward to making a significant and sustainable contribution to the newly formed market there, offering consumers innovative products in a safe and responsible betting environment.”
Cruddace concluded: “Schleswig-Holstein’s government should be applauded for its efforts to implement a regulatory regime that will provide security for consumers, transparency for regulators and the freedom to compete for EU operators.”