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Named by the most important city in this region, Schleswig Holstein and known for its rich history, this federal state that’s a part of Germany was an online gambling haven. It has a certain degree of autonomy; however, federal law applies and overrules the local regulations. The regulations regarding sports online betting and online gambling went back and forth. Until this day there are still a lot of unclear bureaucracy issues that put the online casino operators in a state of limbo for the future.
Germany is probably the only country in the world that is operating two different regulations for online gaming and online gambling. At first the differences that were present looked like they are going to be resolved and dealt with in a short period, however, that was not the case.
EU ruled in favor for the Schleswig Holstein and said that it is totally legal for a country to operate the gambling activities with 2 separate gambling acts. Even after this court decision, Germany has failed to liberalize online gambling in other parts of the country.
The period during which online casino operators and online sports betting operators could’ve applied for a license lasted no more than 6 whole months. In this period the authorities of Schleswig Holstein gave 25 licenses for online gambling casinos and 20 for online sports betting. The gambling act of Schleswig Holstein stated that there is no limit to the number of licenses.
The Interstate Gambling Act of Germany states that only 20 licenses can be in use at a time, online sports betting licenses, whereas online gambling is banned.
The licenses that were issued to the online gambling operators in Schleswig are valid for 6 years. Those who have secured their licenses can still operate legally within Schleswig Holstein, but there are no new application openings.
Both acts have the same wording regarding who can operate a betting and gambling business in Germany. The key objectives are reliability, corporate capabilities and revenue control. The tax is set to 20 percent on gross profit according the German VAT system.
The Schleswig Holstein authorities made an attempt to follow the guidelines the Interstate Gambling Treaty has set and liberalize gambling in their region. However, because the federal law overrules all local laws the period in which application period was open will be remembered as a bright spot in the history of the gambling industry in Schleswig Holstein.