Tuesday September 20, 2011 : A lucrative market, a strict but practical regulator and sensible internet gambling laws should prove a big attraction
Schleswig Holstein, the breakaway German province that refuses to align itself with other monopoly-minded German states and is going it alone with a European Commission-approved set of online gambling regulations, should prove a major attraction for EU operators wishing to legally access the lucrative German market…and the northern German province could be the domino that causes the other lander to follow.
Bloomberg business news reports that last week’s narrow but positive 46-to-45 vote is a break from Germany’s other 15 states, which had sought a more restrictive nationwide framework for betting after the European Court of Justice ruled last year that the country’s betting monopoly didn’t comply with European laws.
The more restrictive rules proposed by the other states have been dismissed as unworkable by major Internet gambling companies like Betfair and Bwin.party digital entertainment, and both companies have said they would consider using Schleswig-Holstein as a base for their German operations.
Meanwhile, the Malta-licensed but German oriented gambling group Jaxx SE plans to offer Web-based sports betting, poker and casino games to all Germany from Scheswig Holstein starting March 1 next year, says spokesman Stefan Zenker.
Schleswig-Holstein’s rules allow for an unlimited number of web-gambling licenses, plus a less onerous tax regime than that proposed by the other German states, which want to restrict licenses to only seven and levy an onerous 16.7 percent tax on betting stakes.
The Schleswig-Holstein regulations set down a 20 percent tax…but only on gross profit.
A fully unrestricted German licensing regime could vault Germany to first place in European online gambling gross win, from its current fourth spot, at Euros 773 million last year, predicts H2 Gambling Capital, a Manchester, England-based consultant.