Updated: Sept. 17, 2012 (Initial publication: Sept. 11, 2012)

Breaking news

The German Land of Schleswig-Holstein has issued September 3, 2012 new licenses online games, despite its change of Government


Germany is characterized in that in Europe generally has refused liberalization of the gambling industry. For this, it will incur remonstrance’s from the European Commission. But this issue is the responsibility of the Länder. That is why, when the Land of Schleswig-Holsteing decided in April 2011 to open the sector to competition online games, Everyone saw a sign of liberalism and compliance with European lines. But the government of this land has changed in May 2012 to make way for a coalition, it seems more favorable to a closure of that activity or, at lesse, should be left to public monopolies. However, on September 2, 5 licenses are to be given by that Government to the major operators of online games, which shows that the line previously adopted market-opening games online is maintained, unlike the rest of the Germany.

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 Germany has expressed its reluctance to the decision of the EU to liberalize online gaming, or at least regulate them. For this, the Länder have agreed to develop a text excluding release. 15 Länder have signed the project, but the Land of Schleswig-Holstein was the only one not to follow. 

Indeed, in April 2011, It designed a different text, asking the liberalization of online gaming, the establishment of a regulator, the mission of the latter to grant licenses to operators to offer casino games , room and poker online.

Taking this direction, the Land of Schleswig-Holstein adopted a text opening ample opportunity for operators to offer online gambling activities, once approval obtained to do so (see the thematic report about that).

 The European Commission expressed its satisfaction with such legislation, while expressing his displeasure with the closure made by other Länder. Model did not seem to disapprove of the tax determined by the Land of 5% of the bets made by the players.

From March 2012, twenty licenses were granted by the regulators. 19 operators submitted applications, which are being examined.

But in May 2012, elections have changed the composition of the Government of Schleswig-Holstein, now led by a coalition of Social Democrats, environmentalists and Danish (the territory is near Denmark).

Members of the Government have expressed their opposition to the activity of online games. Some pose that would cancel existing licenses and reach the position adopted by other Länder.

But on 2 September 2012, the regulator of land awarded five largest operators of online games new licenses.



 We can interpret this in two ways.

Is the current Government, despite the views of its members, not change the text, rights acquired by virtue of its tax interest or the interest of the hierarchy of norms in favor of the European Union ?

Or is it a decision of the regulator, which does not agree with the direction that the Government wants to take. Regulator considers when it is there to enforce laws, which asks him to grant licenses, which it does in a neutral way, without having to worry about the political views of the Government ?

In such a case, classical, there is a conflict between the regulator and policy.


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