SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN PLOUGHS LONE FURROW


The northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein has passed new legislation for the regulation of online gambling


The northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein has passed new legislation for the regulation of online gambling that will permit licensed operators to offer exchange and sportsbetting as well as poker and casino games with the exception of roulette, blackjack and baccarat.

Instead of joining with Germany's remaining 15 states in April and amending the current governing State Lottery Treaty, Schleswig-Holstein decided to submit draft regulations of its own for consideration by the European Union, which were subsequently ruled to be compliant.

The new legislation is due to come into force from January with licenses valid from March and see Schleswig-Holstein implement a 20 percent gross profits tax rather than the 16.66 percent revenue tax favoured by its fellow states. In addition, the regulations place no limit on the number of operators awarded licences and states that all online products should be permitted while implementing a strict consumer protection mechanism.

According to a report from the Reuters news service, both bwin.party Digital Entertainment and Betfair revealed that they have plans to apply for licences from Schleswig-Holstein with both seeing a rise in their share prices as a result.

"The resolution passed today is an important and groundbreaking step on the way to an open and regulated gambling market in Germany," read a statement from bwin.party Digital Entertainment.

For its part, Betfair declared that it hoped Schleswig-Holstein's example was followed by the remaining German states.

"We are now hopeful that the other 15 German states will make the regulated amendments to their proposed State Lottery Treaty in order to bring it into line with European Union law," read a statement from Betfair.
 
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