MORE CRITICISM FOR GERMAN LIBERALISATION
12th April, 2011 at 03:44:22
GVC prefers licensing in one of the more progressive German states
The recent announcement that the 16 German states are to move away from the current monopolised business model on gambling and introduce a regime more in compliance with European norms remains a cause for concern, with GVC Holdings the latest to comment on the issue.
In a statement this week the Isle of Man based company, which focuses largely on the substantial German online gambling market, says that the vote by the 16 states was by no mean unanimous, with marked differences in the views of different Lander (states).
Sachsen-Anhalt, for example, favours a regime in which online casinos may only be operated by state-owned land-based casinos, whilst the more progressive Lander of Schleswig-Holstein has already drafted a considerably more open and equitable bill which has had its first parliamentary reading and been submitted to the EU for approval.
This seeks to unilaterally enact its own state regime with legal force throughout Germany, and perhaps understandably GVC, along with other online gambling groups, will be applying for licensing in that jurisdiction should the opportunity arise.
GVC notes that it already operates and pays taxes under a licence granted by an EU member state which enforces rigorous customer protection and anti-fraud measures.
The minutes of the conference of the German states to discuss internet gambling are not yet available, and will be read with interest by many within the industry anxious to see this lucrative market opened up.
Germany implemented its heavily monopolised Interstate treaty with effect from 1 January 2008 and it expires 31 December 2011. The treaty was found to be defective by the EU, and GVC believes the proposals made by the Sachsen-Anhalt Lander smack of protectionism for the state-run businesses, and will go the same way when challenged in the EU.
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