Schleswig-Holstein issued its first gaming licenses to online sportsbooks putting them a step closer to becoming Germany’s Las Vegas. Last week the rebellious Northern German lander issued licenses to BetFair, MyBet and NordWestLotto (the state lottery).

Last year, in defiance of the other 15 lander, Schleswig-Holstein approved a new iGaming-friendly treaty that allows all types of online gaming. More importantly, the Schleswig treaty taxes casinos at 20 percent of gross profits, rather than the 16.6 percent of revenue assessed by the Federal treaty.

Plenty of SH Gaming

Those first three licenses are just the beginning of what is expected to be land rush business to get on the Schleswig-Holstein gaming bandwagon. Unlike the rest of Germany, there’s no limit to the number of licenses that can be issued in Schleswig-Holstein.

In the weeks to come, there could be as many as 40 new licenses issued in the state. It’s believed that 26 of those applications fare for sport books; the rest for poker sites.

But if any of these license holders are hoping to serve any German south of Schleswig, they may be in for a wait. Under the current regulations, it isn’t quite clear whether all Germans will be able to play, or just residents of the state.

Still trying to figure out Germany? Check CAP’s Guide to Casino Affiliate Marketing in Germany.

What the EU Wants

European Union regulators have praised the Schleswig treaty for being in tune with the organization’s open trade policy. Over the past few years countries including Spain, Portugal and Germany have tried desperately to fend off foreign gaming competition with protectionist policies that have been shot down by the EU.

Not surprisingly, the new licenses were praised by MyBet officials who told, “…Schleswig-Holstein is the only German state to have understood how to go about drafting legislation that complies with both European and constitutional law and takes account of the interests of players, providers and the state in equal measure.”

What it Means for Affiliates

Gaming affiliates looking to dip a toe in the German market have a great opportunity to jump in via Schleswig-Holstein. Germany’s gaming treaties aren’t winning any fans with the EU and if Spain and France are any indication, they may crumble entirely.

 Is Schleswig-Holstein the next frontier in the European gaming market? Let us know in our Online Gambling Laws and Regulations Forum.

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