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SCHLESWIG HOLSTEIN ONLINE GAMBLING IN LIMBO
Sunday August 26,2012 : SCHLESWIG HOLSTEIN ONLINE GAMBLING IN LIMBO
German province moves to rejoin the German Treaty, but no action yet on banning the issue of licenses
Schleswig Holstein's ruling coalition government was playing its cards cautiously this week as parliament started the legislative process designed to end in the repeal of the German province's liberal online gambling licensing law .
However, the expected moratorium on the issue of new licenses, and the even more contentious possibility of suspending those already issued, did not materialise.
Instead, a carefully worded statement to parliamentarians proposed that the buck be at least temporarily passed to the European Commission, which under EU law must be given the opportunity to consider and comment on new draft legislation.
Interior Minister Andreas Breitner advised that the repealing measure and moves to return S-H to the restrictive German Treaty on gambling could only be implemented once the EC requirement had been completed.
That process includes a 'standstill' timeframe of three months, during which no action may be taken.
Breitner noted that the standstill can be extended by a further month if another EU member state becomes involved with an objection or comment.
In practical terms this means that nothing can happen between this week's first reading of the bill and the second reading, which is held after the EC has commented on the draft law.
It also means that the current law in force, which provides for the regulation and licensing of online gambling, must stand. And that means that the S-H government can still be required to consider licence applications (and in fact two companies are already suing over delays in issuing their licenses).
Breitner explained that pending EC input the S-H government remains bound by existing law, which means that additional licences can still be granted.
"Gambling operators are legally entitled to receive a licence, as long as the relevant criteria are fulfilled," he said. "It also means that any licences that have already been granted [at last report there are seven] remain valid for the specified period.”
That licence duration period is six years. There are reportedly around 30 licence applications still in the pipeline, creating a potentially significant commercial legal problem for S-H if it does finally repeal its current gambling law.
Opposition politicians have already warned the government to expect litigation from impacted companies if the repeal measure goes through, and there is still strong opposition to re-joining the German Treaty from some parties, which have pointed out that the European Commission has reservations on the restrictions it imposes.
Danske Spil Bingo Moves to Microgaming -
The national lottery of Denmark, Danske Spil, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network. Danske Spil, the Danish national lottery, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network following a change to its licence conditions.
Quickfire live on Strendus -
Quickfire powered by Microgaming is extending its reach in the LatAm region with the signing of Strendus. Strendus is the online division of Logrand Entertainment Group. The group comprises several companies that operate gaming and entertainment establishments in Mexico, running 14 land-based casinos in total.
Quickfire content live on BetatHome -
Online gaming and sports betting company bet-at-home was founded in 1999. Today the company has 4.8 million registered customers around the world, offering sports betting, casino, live casino, Vegas games, poker and virtual sports.
Microgaming has donated £30,000 between four charities -
Gift of Giving provides Microgamingís customers the opportunity to vote for one of several charities in their region. In lieu of Christmas gifts, £30,000 is split equally between four global regions: Isle of Man, UK and Europe, Africa, and Rest of the World.
Entertainment Betting Odds: 90th Academy Awards -
The Shape of Water leads Sundayís 90th Academy Awards (8 PM ET, ABC) with 13 Oscar nominations, but when it comes to Best Picture, this highly-acclaimed film is a +140 second-favorite behind Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at Ė115.
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