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German State Legalizes Online Poker

Schleswig-Holstein First German State To Regulate Online Poker, Hopes Are Others Will Follow

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The German state of Schleswig-Holstein today passed legislation to legalize and regulate online poker.

It is the first German state to do so and the online gaming industry now hopes the other 15 states in the country will follow suit and incorporate the law into their statute books.

There will be an unlimited number of licenses issued in the state and tax will be levied at 20 percent of gross profits. The law comes into force on January 1, 2012 with licences valid from March 1.

The legislation was supported by PokerStars.

Analysts Daniel Stewart & Company said in a sector note in the aftermath of the news, “This is undoubtedly good news for online operators with exposure to the German market. However it is not absolutely clear at this stage whether or not operators with a license in S-H would be allowed to take wagers from citizens outside of the state (i.e. across Germany).

“This does however in our view put pressure on the other 15 states to fall inline with EU law with regards to the New Interstate Treaty.”

Bwin.party digital entertainment’s share price was up 12 percent at the time of writing.