Germany’s Schleswig-Holstein to start online table game licence process
Schleswig-Holstein will open applications for its four online table game licences on May 23.
Germany.- The state of Schleswig-Holstein has unveiled the details of the application process for its online table game licences. It will open the process on May 23, and operators will have until August 15 to submit an application for one of the state’s four online table game licences by email.
The application fee has been set at €2,500. As for the criteria to award the four 15-year licences, the state’s legislature said it would evaluate operators’ “reliability, expertise and ability” and consider the applications against the goals of Germany’s Fourth Interstate Treaty on Gambling.
Schleswig-Holstein is a unique case in Germany in that it’s the only state that already allowed online casino operations prior to the introduction of the new federal online gaming legislation. Before the launch of the new regulatory system, it had no limit on the number of licences it issued, and it taxed operators 20 per cent on GGR.
The new federal legislation, which came into force last July, introduced a national regulated market for igaming and sports betting, but allowed each state to decide between two models for the regulation of online table games.
States can choose between granting a monopoly on online table games, normally falling to the state lottery, or to issue the same number of licences as the number of land-based casinos in the state. Schleswig-Holstein, Germany’s northernmost state, has opted for the latter. It has five land-based casinos and will therefore allow five online table game licences.
One of the five licences will go to state-run Spielbank Schleswig-Holstein, which leaves just four available for private operators to apply for. Christian Democratic Union parliamentary secretary Hans-Jörn Arp said these would be issued following “reputable and strict criteria”.
The tax rate established in the new state legislation will see online table game revenue of up to €300,000 a month taxed at 34 per cent. Revenue between €300,000 and €750,000 will be taxed at 39 per cent and revenue surpassing €750,000 at 44 per cent.
North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous of Germany’s 16 states, has also decided that it will grant five online table game licences. Thüringia is adopting the monopoly model.
Meanwhile, the executive of the German state of Saxony-Anhalt has launched the website for the country’s new federal regulator, Gemeinsamen Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL – The German Federal States’ Joint Gambling Authority). However, the new regulator has not yet approved any applications for online casino.
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