The Ministry of the Interior of Schleswig-Holstein has granted regulatory approval to Victor Chandler, Bet90 and Interwetten, taking the total number of online licenses in the region to 15.
The move comes despite Schleswig-Holstein’s new coalition government vowing to return to the country’s Federal State Treaty. Earlier this year, the region’s Sozialdemokratisches Partei (SDP) said:
“We are beginning to clear the minefield in the German gambling legislation left by our predecessors in Schleswig-Holstein. We will take all the time we need [to change the existing legal framework]. But in the end, Schleswig-Holstein will join the other 15 states under a common gambling law.”
On Friday, the European Union concludes its review of draft legislation that would allow Schleswig-Holstein to join the Federal State Treaty, which proposes a restrictive 5% turnover tax and limits operators to sports betting licenses only. It was rejected by the European Commission, though was ratified by 15 of the country’s 16 Länder.
The legislation will be delayed a month if the EU Commission takes issue with Schleswig-Holstein signing on; if not, lawmakers in the region could vote on the bill as early as December 12, gambling lawyer Joerg Hofmann told Gambling Compliance.
“The big question if it passes is what happens to the pending applications. I think there should be an intermediate period to deal with them,” he commented.
Schleswig-Holstein also issued its first land-based sports betting license yesterday to Admiral, a company owned by Austria’s Novomatic.
Early last month, Betfair announced plans to withdraw from Germany, citing “unviable” market conditions.