Schleswig-Holstein to Join German National Gaming Treaty


There is a bit of background to this post here, but the cheat notes go something like this:

Schleswig-Holstein is the rebel German state that last year (January) introduced its own pro-online gambling laws, while all other German states decided to adopt the Interstate Treaty on Gambling (“the Treaty”) – federally introduced laws that are largely prohibitory (no casino or poker games, restricted sports betting licenses). After the The Schleswig-Holstein Gambling Act came into effect the Social Democratic Party (SPD) led government took office and from the outset signaled their intent to step into line with all other states and adopt the Treaty.

That gets us to December last year. Since then quite a bit has happened.

On December 19 twelve operators including UK based 888 Holdings, Betfair, Ladbrokes, Bet-at-Home and Bet365 were all awarded casino/poker licenses, allowing them to offer their product to residents of Schleswig-Holstein for a period of 6 years.

Now, within a month of these licenses being handed out, the state government has said that it will hold a vote to join the Treaty. The vote will take place on 23 January, and if passed (as it is expected to do), Schleswig-Holstein could join the other states in adopting the Treaty by March 2013. Presumably that means the Schleswig-Holstein Gambling Act will also be amended to disallow the issue of further licenses.

As for existing license holders, it seems they may be able to proceed as planned. Originally the SPD government considered revoking licenses, but later decided against this move, probably figuring they weren’t up for the legal battle that would have ensued.

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