Some of Europe’s major online gaming firms have given a joint press release praising the new gaming bill drafted in the Germany lander of Schleswig-Holstein.
It comes after the lander voted to change regulations just last week, a move that sent a number of firm’s shares plummeting and making them question whether going public was a good idea in the first place. Inevitably it wasn’t.
The companies who gave the release include bwin.party jaxx, tipico, PokerStars, mybet.com, Betfair, and a number of others.
Schleswig-Holstein has long campaigned against the country’s state gambling monopoly and now looks as though it’s at the forefront of new gambling legislation in the country. The state also didn’t agree with the changes to the country’s Gaming Treaty and as such has gone on to make plans for their own gaming law.
The state’s bill has taken into account positive experiences from other EU countries and may see a number of gaming companies looking at Schleswig-Holstein as their next port of call.
Upon the news a number of companies made comments on the plans. Jörg Wacker, bwin.party, said, “Schleswig-Holstein has blazed a new trail with its bill. This bill complies with EU law, corresponds to market reality and the Internet age. The implementation of the key issues proposed by the Minister Presidents last week would be as doomed to failure as the expiring monopoly model in Germany. Over 16 percent turnover tax on sports betting would not enable a competitive product to be placed in the market. Excluding poker and casino offers would enable the black market, as well as unregulated sports betting continue to exist in this segment. Thus, the Federal State’s objective of channelling, ensuring player protection and fighting manipulation would miss the mark.”
Dr. Norman Albers, German Bookmaker Association, also added, “There is no feasible alternative to the Schleswig-Holstein bill. It is balanced and pursues the same protection goals as the newly failed Gaming Treaty. The Federal States’ April 6 counter proposal subjects private bookmakers to antitrust laws without authorizing us to participate in sports betting. That would destroy traditional betting on horseracing in Germany.”
It will be interesting to see which way this goes but it sure as hell looks like bwin.party et al are treating it as one of those “Get Out of Jail Free” cards from Monopoly.