Saxony-Anhalt state approves 35 online sportsbook licences

The Bundesländer of Saxony-Anhalt has published its ‘whitelist’ of licence-approved operators that are in accordance with GlüNeuRStv laws.

The Bundesländer of Saxony-Anhalt has published its ‘whitelist’ of licence-approved operators that are in accordance with the laws of Germany’s fourth interstate treaty on gambling, GlüNeuRStv

This saw a total of 35 foreign and domestic operators having been granted GlüNeuRStv sportsbook licences, including Hillside Media (bet365), Betway, 888 Deutschland and Entain Plc’s full portfolio of German brands including SportingBet, Ladbrokes DE, bwin and Gamebookers.

The licensed businesses are allowed to provide GlüNeuRStv online gambling services for sports betting, online casino, virtual slots, poker, lotteries, horse racing and instant games.

However, the Saxony-Anhalt registry also revealed that no licences had been granted for online casino, virtual slots and poker and the Lander made no statement with regards to whether operators had even applied for GlüNeuRStv licences for online gambling services.

Saxony-Anhalt has been appointed to serve as the Bundesländer that will house German gambling’s new federal regulatory agency, Glücksspielbehörde.

Although Germany’s 16 Lander had previously agreed to observe a ‘transitional period’ from October 2020, allowing former Hesse licensed bookmakers to switch to new GlüNeuRStv licences, the regime was formally launched on July 1.

The launch of the GlüNeuRStv regime was disrupted by the Bundesrat agreeing to maintain a much-contested 5.3 per cent gross wagering tax on online casino, slots and poker.

As Entain, Flutter and LeoVegas AB claimed multi-million-euro costs related to German market adjustments, the 2021 Interim results of European operators cited the negative impact of the regime’s tax charge.

Arguing that Lander had applied an anti-competitive tax rate on casino games and poker to maintain a competitive advantage for state-owned land-based casinos, Germany’s Online Gambling Trade Association, DSWV, and The European Betting and Gaming Association have launched an EU-level appeal demanding that he reform the GlüNeuRStv tax framework.

“Unlike all European countries, Germany does not tax the provider’s earnings for virtual slot machine games and online poker, but rather the individual stakes made by consumers,” read a statement from the DSWV from earlier this year. “This makes the games more expensive for the customers and the winnings less often.” 

Moreover, as operators had agreed to apply a €1,000 monthly deposit limit on customer spend and a €1 stake limit on slots, prior to the tax rate being imposed, the casino tax charge was deemed as a further fair market infringement.