by Renee Israel
The German state of Schleswig-Holstein has issued a sports betting
licence to Bwin.party, which is one of the leading online gambling
operators in Europe, with a particularly strong presence in Germany.
The licence, issued by the Ministry of Interior, is valid for six years and
requires the online gambling operator to pay a 20% gross gaming tax to the
German state authorities. Last year sports betting revenue for Bwin.party in
Germany was €96.1 million.
Chief executive officer of Bwin.party, Norbert Teufelberger, said that the
issue of licences by Schleswig-Holstein was the first and important step towards
"a vibrant and competitive German online gaming market".
He added that the Schleswig-Holstein regime was EU compliant and would
protect consumers and keep out black market operators. Bwin.party expects to get
online poker and online casino licences in due course, for which separate
applications have been made.
Other Sports Betting Licenses By Schleswig-Holstein
Along with Bwin.party, three other online gambling operators were issued
sports betting licences. They are Bet365, Bet-at-home and Sportingbet. This was
not the first group of operators to be given the licenses. Earlier this month
the first set of licences were awarded to Betfair, NordwestLotto and Jaxx.
A spokesperson from the Ministry of Interior said, "A license is granted only
to those who can credibly provide evidence of its reliability and sustainable
performance." In addition to the seven sports betting licences issues so far,
another 24 applications for sports betting are under consideration. There are 17
applications for online casino games that are under review as well.
Advisory Board to Assist Gambling Authority with Licences
The Ministry of Interior announced that a new Advisory Board consisting of
eight members will assist the gambling authority in the issue of licences. The
very first meeting of the Advisory Board reflected both the high level of
expertise and the dedication of the members.
The members have been taken from State Sports Association of
Schleswig-Holstein, Federation of Schleswig-Holstein, Action for Children and
Youth Protection at the National Centre, Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and
Health, NordwestLotto, Jaxx, German Sport University Cologne and
Schleswig-Holstein State Office of Criminal.
An analyst from Daniel Stewart & Co. lauded the issuing of licences as a very
positive event, particularly because the Schleswig-Holstein regulatory scheme
has EU approval. However, he added that it was unclear at this stage whether or
not the licences permitted the online gambling operators to accept bets from
residents in other German states.