Interwetten profit soars; Germany urged to adopt Schleswig-Holstein online plan

TAGs: Germany, Interwetten, Schleswig-Holstein

germany-online-gambling-interwetten-dvtmMalta-based online gambling operator Interwetten saw H1 profits quadruple after tightening its marketing spending.

Interwetten, which has a strong presence in German-speaking markets, said revenue rose 16% to €25.7m in the first six months of 2015. Growth was particularly strong in Q2, with sports betting up 12% and casino revenue up 31%. H1 profit rose more than 300% to over €5m.

Board spokesman Werner Becher credited the profit surge to more efficient marketing and CRM spending. Marketing costs were 21% of H1 revenue, while customer bonuses were just 8%, figures Becher claimed were well below industry standards.

The numbers are all the more impressive given this year’s lack of a marquee sporting event like last summer’s FIFA World Cup. Becher said the boffo H1 results had put the company on target to “clearly outperform” its full-year objectives of €1b in gambling turnover, €50m in revenue and €10m in profits.

Germany’s top telecommunications industry association has echoed the European Commission’s recent demand that Germany justify its failed online gambling legislation. The Association for Telecommunications and Media (DVTM), whose members include gaming operators Tipico and PokerStars, believe the EC’s missive represents “a final warning” for Germany to scrap its flawed federal interstate gambling treaty.

The DVTM didn’t mince words, saying the federal treaty had “failed” and Germany’s online gambling industry couldn’t thrive in a “regulatory Middle Ages.” German-facing online operators require “new liberal, predictable and consumer-friendly regulation” that ensures equal treatment is given to “economic growth, consumer protection and government revenue.”

Some politicians in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein believe Germany’s salvation lies in adopting their state’s more liberal online gambling legislation. The Schleswig-Holstein regime, which currently doesn’t apply beyond the state’s borders, allows operators to offer not just online sports betting but also poker and casino games, while providing a more favorable tax rate and lacking the federal treaty’s cap on the number of allowable licenses.

Last week, Christian Democratic Union parliamentary secretary Hans Jörn-Arp and Free Democratic Party chairman Wolfgang Kubicki urged federal politicians to adopt their state’s more permissive regulatory scheme. The pair warned that the EC’s letter had made it plain that the federal treaty had to go and that German Chancellor Angela Merkel would be “painfully” embarrassed if the Court of Justice for the European Union launched infringement proceedings against the country.


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