Betfair of the UK and Jaxx, its German rival, are the first commercial betting companies to be awarded licences for web-based sports bets in Germany in addition to the state owned operator Oddset. The license only apply in the state of Schleswig-Holstein and covers sports betting. Licenses for poker and other casino-style games will come during the coming weeks to some of the 37 applicants.
Betfair has led the charge against the gambling monopolies of Germany’s 16 regions, a regime which was declared in breach of European laws guaranteeing companies freedom to do business across the region.
Schleswig-Holstein plans to tax online betting companies’ gross profits at 20 per cent, shunning a more weighty tax on customer bets, which the other states are aiming for – and providers say would be unworkable.