Similar to the United States, Germany’s iGaming landscape is mostly regulated by individual states. The state of Schleswig-Holstein has just requested an extension on an existing gambling bill.
Schleswig-Holstein Demands Extension on Gaming Bill
The German state of Schleswig-Holstein is planning to make online gaming operations a little simpler. The first move has been announced, with the state requesting an extension foriGaming businesses with expired licenses.
The move is needed to allow Schleswig-Holstein time to issue new licenses and avoid businesses incurring financial damages and losing momentum. As per the new licenses considered by Schleswig-Holstein, operators will have to pay up to 20% of their gross gaming revenue (GGR), which is the same amount that they have been paying so far.
Instead of issuing new five-year licensees, Schleswig-Holstein will only grant operators permissions to operate until June 30, 2021 because of the current complications with the German State Treaty on Gaming. Basically, the federal government in Germany should come up with a universal framework which can be applied across the entire country.
Little effort has been done to bring this to a meaningful conclusion. As a result, places like Schleswig-Holstein are operating iGaming based on their own exclusive framework applicable on the territory of the respective state.
High Hopes for Regulated Online Gambling in Germany
This comes at a time when the Christian Social Union and the Christian Democratic Party have been teaming up with the Green and showing a very liberal stance on iGaming as a whole. On March 21, German lawmakers are expected to meet and discuss the future of gaming in the country, discussing the State Treaty and how it can be extended to the entire country.
With 16 federal states awaiting progress, the ratification of the State Treaty would be a huge plus for states looking to tax the industry and businesses looking to operate in certainty. If the draft is passed, then a trial period will take place between 2020 and 2021.
Some Doubt Remains
Should everything go according to plan, the licenses will then be extended by June 30, 2024 and re-evaluated then to decide whether a new series of licenses will be issued, i.e. renewed. Nobody is exactly sure if things will develop positively for Germany’s iGaming sector, but there has been a long of strong showing in favor of the activity.
Even if the federal government fails to meet the expectations of business and states, states will simply go their own ways and make sure they deliver their own laws.
While there have been high hopes for the successful passage of a law, the German sports betting association, the Deutsche Sportwettenverband, has dismissed the Treaty, failing to give it a much-needed legal support.