Lone Germany State Issues First Online Poker Licenses

Lone Germany State Issues First Online Poker LicensesIn Germany, the state maintains a monopoly on lotteries and sports betting while also ensuring a ban on online gambling activities across its 16 states. Late last year, however, the lone state of Schleswig-Holstein became the first to defy German authorities by issuing 15 sports betting licenses.
Now, the state with a population of 2.8 million has followed up by issuing a further 12 licences, this time for online casino and poker sites. The list of companies receiving a licenses included 888, Ladbrokes, Betfair, REEL (PokerStars subsidary), ElectraWorks ( Bwin.party subsidiary), Bet365, MyBet and Bet-at-home. In addition, awaiting processing are a further 18 casino and 24 sports betting application.
Germany is believed to have around 2.2 million online gamers who have continued to fly in the face of  government restrictions and gamble online. Schleswig-Holstein’s new licences should now permit these German player to visit the site. In order to comply with Schleswig-Holstein regulations, the online gambling companies must first meet a number of requirements, including ensuring site security, and each hour notifying online gamblers of their winnings or losses.
Nevertheless, despite the EU Commission approving the state’s new regulations, Schleswig-Holstein new coalition government has already vowed to honour Germany’s present ‘States Treaty on Gambling’ and repeal their new gambling law. They had considered revoking the latest licenses granted but conceded it was beyond their legal power with industry experts maintaining the Germany State Treaty is against EU law.
However, others would appear more optimistic for the future of online gambling in Germany. Bwin.party, for instance, has a strong presence in the German betting market and after the state’s law was passed last year, commented: “The resolution passed today is an important and groundbreaking step on the way to an open and regulated gambling market in Germany. We are now hopeful that the other 15 German States will make the regulated amendments to their proposed State Treaty, in order to bring it into line with EU law.”

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