On Wednesday, the German state of Schleswig-Holstein passed an online gambling law, even though the other fifteen German states were seeking a unified German approach to online gambling legislation.
The law passed today will see the state's gambling law closely follow the measures that are the standard throughout Europe and approved by the European Commission. The law will see unlimited sports betting licenses, and give online betting companies the ability to offer poker, exchange betting, sports betting and casino games (excluding baccarat, black jack and roulette). The law will also see operators charged a 20% gross profit tax, which is different than the 16.67% individual stakes tax which was being discussed.
The law is currently set to take effect in January, and licenses will be valid in March.
News of the law's passage brought a positive response from several betting companies. A spokesperson for Betfair commented, saying “Schleswig Holstein’s new online gambling treaty is a welcome piece of legislation geared towards creating a genuinely open, transparent and responsible online gambling market in Germany.
“We are pleased that it has today passed through the State Parliament and we look forward to applying for a licence to operate there. We are now hopeful that the other 15 German States will make the required amendments to their proposed State Treaty, in order to bring it into line with EU law and with the law passed in Schleswig-Holstein today. Betfair is committed to participating in the online gambling market in Germany, ready and willing to pay taxes there and offer German consumers competitive, innovative and safe products.”
JAXX SE, which is based in the host state of Schleswig-Holstein also commented on the law's passage, with Mathias Dahms, JAXX Management Board Spokesman saying, “We welcome today's decision by the state parliament in Kiel. The new gaming legislation sets the bar high for promoters and sales partners, with standards that lead the way in Europe. Only serious, economically sound companies such as JAXX SE will be in a position to meet the requirements for the licences. The new law provides legal certainty and strikes a fair balance between protecting players, the interests of consumers and entrepreneurial liberty."