State Schleswig-Holstein Bans Online Poker
By Richard Zikakis at 2013-02-09 12:48:30
The only State in Germany - Schleswig-Holstein – to make online poker legal, is in a very surprising about-face, about to also ban the game of online poker. This was really unexpected after being the only state in the country in a de facto rebellion. To put it bluntly – the online gambling industry in Germany is really up the spout, and this cannot be very good news for the massive German-based operator bwin.party Interactive. They depend on German business for a large portion of their income.
Schleswig-Holstein will now be falling prey to mob-psychology, and joining the fifteen other German States that refuse to give online poker the rubber stamp. This is despite the fact that the European Union has expressed grave concern at the country’s failure to adhere to EU trade treaties. Germany will make online poker illegal to play across the entire country, where the Schleswig-Holstein online gambling treaty was only ratified in July 2012. The only gaming online permitted will be online sports betting.
There is also the matter that only twenty online sports betting licenses will be issued in Germany; but Schleswig-Holstein has hung on to the rights to issue as many of these licenses as it pleases. However, about a dozen online poker licenses had already been granted to BIG industry players such as; 888 Poker, Ladbrokes, Betfair, PokerStars (through ElectraWorks), and of course bwin.party Interactive (who operate Party Poker). To date, fifteen sports betting licenses have already been issued.
What we all want to know now is - why the change? Well politics of course. A new ruling coalition was elected into power in June, and this coalition just happens to be almost rabidly anti-online gambling. They claimed they would revoke all existing licenses, but found this would be illegal, but are also attempting to repeal the Land’s Gambling Act. One Step forward….twenty steps back!
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