New German Gambling Proposals Ignite Controversy

11/26/2011
By Tommie ClarkGoogle

A strong controversy has erupted between online gaming companies and German legislators over a series of new laws proposed that would seriously hamper affiliates’ operative abilities.  If passed, they are going to take effect in July.

 

Furthermore, in light of the EU’s lenient stance on online gambling, these laws could worsen the already tense relationship between Germany and the EU.

 

The proposed legislation, which includes a limitation of twenty gaming-site operation licenses and a turnover-tax of 5%, would have a significant impact on the German online gaming market.  The most grave of the proposals limits licensing to sports betting which leaves table games such as poker illegal. 

 

Despite the sad news for German gamblers, it appears there may be some good news on their horizon.  Though 15 out of Germany’s 16 states support the new legislation, the state of Schleswig-Holstein has proposed its own gambling legislation. 

 

The Schleswig-Holstein proposal, to take effect already this January, is more in line with EU standards.  It includes table games, including poker, and taxes gross profits (as opposed to turnover).  This proposal can potentially leave an opening for casino affiliates to operate in Germany’s large market.

 

Clive Hawkswood, The Remote Gaming Association’s CEO, strongly criticized the proposed legislation that is against EU agreements while praising the Schleswig-Holstein proposal precisely for its similarity to preexisting laws in EU member states like Denmark and Spain.  Hawkswood further criticized the German proposal citing that, though it purports to regulate gambling, it does not include any real means for preventing German citizens from gambling via offshore-based online casinos.

 

Germany has a long history of hostility towards online gaming sites, and only time will tell what will come of these proposals.

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