Update: Germany's New Treaty on Online Gambling


Legislative requirement fulfilled with 13 provinces ratifying the proposal

The minimum 13-provinces threshold for passing the new Interstate Treaty on online gambling was reached when Thuringia and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern agreed to the proposed legislation, with the implementation effective as of 1st July 2012.

It seems that Germany will resist the current European trend towards internet gambling based on prohibiting, rather than taking actions to regulate the industry.

The new Treaty is to some extent less restrictive than the previous one allowing for 20 private sports betting licenses having rather high price of Euro 40 - 60 million apiece, with a turnover tax of 5 percent.

Still, the ban on online gambling offered by private operators remains valid with no changing prospects at the moment.

A new Interstate Treaty has been fiercely debated for the last two years by Germany's sixteen provinces a.k.a. Lander with the stances varying from absolute bans to the more liberal approach including licensing and regulation steps selected by Schleswig Holstein.

Provincial legislators were probably influenced by the recent change of Schleswig Holstein government a coalition with an anti-online gambling bias that has threatened to abandon the maverick province's enlightened approach, although that could bring expensive legal actions by the 7 major companies that have invested in the SH policy and already been licensed (with quite a few waiting in the application pipeline).

A number of German politicians are still concerned about the EU acceptability of various legislative proposals.

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