Tuesday June 26, 2012 : CONFLICTING SIGNALS FROM GERMANY'S MAVERICK PROVINCE (Update)
Schleswig Holstein political leaders may be agin' online gambling, but the licensing process continues…
The recent change in political leadership in the German state of Schleswig Holstein rang alarm bells in the industry when prominent members of the new regime voiced an intention to bring the maverick province back into line by signing the anti-online gambling State Treaty with other German states, implying the repeal of the progressive licensing and regulation regime that the previous government had introduced.
However, this week an apparently conflicting policy emerged when regulatory authorities in SH revealed that sports betting licenses are still being reviewed, with as many as six new licenses likely to be issued within the next few weeks.
And that's not all – also in the pipeline are a further four to six licenses, apparently.
One would assume that if the new coalition government in SH is so committed to reversing the state's progress in online gambling regulation, they would feel obliged to call a moratorium on the issue of any further licenses, but that does not appear to be the case.
The Ministry of the Interior has confirmed the new licenses situation, saying merely that until the law is amended or repealed, the current legalization applies.
Earlier this month the Public Gaming Research Institute reported that Schleswig-Holstein has been "relentless when it comes to giving licenses to sport betting operators." The Institute was remarking on the Ministry of the Interior's issue of another four 6-year licenses, this time to bet-at-home, bwin, Bet365 and Sportingbet
"According to the Ministry, there are a total of twenty four operators that have applied for a licence, and these operators are being examined and are actually under consideration," the Institute reported. "As for online casinos, there are seventeen operators who have applied for a casino gaming licence."