Thursday, May 3,2012 : FIRST SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN SPORTSBETTING LICENCES AWARDED (Update)
Patience yields results for first three legal sports betting operators in Northern German State
The Northernmost of the sixteen states of Germany, Schleswig-Holstein, has awarded the first three new online sports betting licences to operators in the State's newly opened online gambling market for a period of six years.
Recipient’s myBet.de (JAXX), Betfair.de and NordWest Lotto (State Lottery) are expected to be followed by others with Interior Minister Klaus Schlie confirming the award of poker and other casino-style game licences in the coming weeks.
The news follows a drawn out battle between Schleswig-Holstein’s more liberalised view and the other 15 German Lander, with criticism from the European Commission and other industry bodies on the restrictive laws that eventually led Schleswig-Holstein to break away.
Initially licenced operators will be able to offer their services within the State and are required to pay gross profit tax of 20 percent, as opposed to the more severe tax on turnover, in a German sports betting market estimated to be worth a minimum of Euro 5 billion.
Mathias Dahms, chief executive officer, JAXX SE said: "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one of the first Schleswig-Holstein sports betting licenses in our hands, the approval for mybet has already become a historical document, because it is for a future-oriented regulation of the gaming system.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.
"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."
Commenting on the news, Betfair’s Chief Legal and Regulatory Affairs Officer, Martin Cruddace, said:
“We are delighted to have been awarded one of the first three licences 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.
“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.”