The recent, and controversial, award of twenty online sports betting licenses in Germany under the auspices of the German State Treaty on Gambling (see previous reports) continues to make waves, with the state of Schleswig Holstein expressing concern over the possibility of legal actions by major companies that were refused licensing.
Our readers will recall the long-running and convoluted German political wrangle over the licenses, a situation that was complicated several years ago when Schleswig Holstein opted to independently license a number of major international companies despite the policies of other German states.
A political changing of the guard in Schleswig Holstein then resulted in the province re-entering the revised State Treaty on Gambling and acquiescing to the federal demand that only 20 licenses should be issued.
That left the already SH-licensed companies in a difficult position, but many reapplied under the new regime, only to find that their applications were declined this week.
The possibility of seriously expensive legal action is now very real, and has prompted Schleswig Holstein politicians Hans-Jörn Arp of the Christian Democratic Unionist party and parliamentary leader Wolfgang Kubicki of the Free Democratic Party to raise their voices in protest.
The duo, who in the past have been supporters of strictly regulated and licensed online gambling, have called on Schleswig Holstein Minister-President Thorsten Albig to consider exiting the State Treaty amid real concern that legal actions will derail the entire project and cause serious economic harm.