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German Lottery Relocates to Schleswig-Holstein

In late October, 15 of Germany’s 16 Länder agreed upon a new State Gambling Treaty. Drafted at the state premiers’ biannual summit, the bill proposes up to 20 licenses for online sports betting based on a 5% turnover tax. There is a restrictive €1,000 cap on player bets, and online poker and casino games remain illegal.
 
Schleswig-Holstein, however, refused to sign off on the proposal, preferring to stick with the more liberal legislation it passed on September 14. The bill legalises online poker and casino games, as well as sports and exchange betting. There are also no restrictive proposals on the number of licenses issued, and the draft is based on a more favourable 20% gross profit tax (GPT).

Vindicating Schleswig-Holstein’s decision to pass progressive legislation, Faber Lotto has announced that it will relocate to Germany’s northernmost Länder.

Faber Lotto, whose chief executive is German Lottery Association chairman Norman Faber, said it would establish an independent company in Schleswig-Holstein that will operate nationally.

“I have made my decision. The process has begun. I have no other choice,” Faber said before a meeting last week with Schleswig-Holstein parliamentarians.

The proposal put forward by Germany’s 15 Länder remains at odds with EU law. The European Commission issued an opinion this summer against the initial proposal backed by 15 of Germany’s 16 Länder, which called for a restrictive opening (only seven licenses) of online sports betting based on a hefty 16.67% turnover tax. According to H2 Gambling Capital, the proposal would only capture 7% of the country’s online gambling market.

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