New Schleswig-Holstein Licenses Solidify Law, Pave Way for German Online Poker
The German state of Schleswig-Holstein (SH) announced on Wednesday that four new operators have been issued licenses to provide online sports-betting services.
Bet365, bwin.party, bet-at-home, and Tipico can now take online sports bets from SH residents. They join Betfair, JAXX-owned Mybet and Oddset, all who received licenses earlier this month.
There are a further 24 sportsbook operators with applications pending review, according to the official statement from the Interior Ministry published today. There are also 17 applicants looking to offer casino games and poker.
In a financial statement today, bwin.party—who operates the online sportsbooks of bwin.com, PartyBets.com and gamebookers.com—confirmed it had also applied for an online poker license which it expects to receive in due course.
Current licenses do not permit operators to accept bets from German citizens outside of the state, but there is a chance this changes with future licenses. There is also hope that other states—having failed to receive approval of its protectionist and anti-online poker legislation from the EU—will adopt the SH regulation.
Questions do still remain over the stability of the law within the state itself. The parties that form the new coalition government have been strongly opposed to online gaming regulation and may seek to have the new law revoked.
However, reversing the law may now face legal hurdles given that operators have been issued six-year licenses—the first were issued just prior to the elections—and, when the revenue starts pouring in, politically it may be tough to refuse.