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Schleswig-Holstein to give five operating licenses for online casino table games

Chris Grand |
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In the latest news to hit the headlines, legislators in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, have reportedly passed a bill that will allow the northern state to award five local online casino table game licenses. Each will have a maximum gross gaming revenue tax of 44 percent.

According to a reliable source, the decision by the jurisdiction’s 73-member parliament comes nine months after Germany signed the New State Treaty on Gambling (GluNeuRStV), which establishes an entirely new licensing, regulatory, and taxing structure for both land-based and Internet gaming enterprises. This newly passed law went into effect in July and featured a clause that allows each of the country’s 16 states to decide how to license and regulate their iGaming markets independently.

A well-defined charter

The entire states in Germany are now apparently able to construct their iGaming monopolies or award separate commercial licenses commensurate with the number of their hosting brick-and-mortar casinos under the rules of the GluNeuRStV, which has been in the works for several years. Since Schleswig-Holstein already owns the Casino Schenefeld, Casino Sylt, Casino Flensburg, Casino Kiel, and Casino Lubeck properties, the source said it now has the authority to issue five such certificates.

Appropriated permission

While states can now issue licenses and regulate operators, more needs to be done. Hans-Jorn Arp, a member of the Schleswig-Holstein parliament, reportedly revealed that one of the five upcoming online casino table game operating licenses would go to the state-run Spielbank Schleswig-Holstein, which is in charge of the state’s existing five land-based gambling establishments. However, according to reports, the Christian Democratic Union lawmaker then stated that the remaining four certifications will be given to commercial businesses “based on credible and strict criteria.”

“It was important for us to prevent the creation of a new Las Vegas and to instead control who is playing what and how the data and money flows,” reportedly read a statement from the 69-year old Christian Democratic Union lawmaker.

Taxes on licenses

The Schleswig-Holstein parliament recently adopted legislation that purports to set out the tax regime for upcoming iGaming licensees, with operators being required to fork over 34 percent of any monthly gross gaming income below €300,000 ($339,270). The current 34% rate is expected to grow to 39% for other online gambling receipts up to €750,000 ($848,190) and 44 percent for amounts over this amount.

A plea from a legislator

A new federal gaming regulator is in place. According to the GluNeuRStV and the source, its headquarters will be in the central state of Sachsen-Anhalt. Individual jurisdictions are now needed to support this new body, according to Arp, “before providers move abroad and potentially jeopardize our channeling plan.”

Schleswig Holstein

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