Online Gambling News from Germany, Italy and HungaryBy: Joan Peppin, Wednesday September 28th 2011
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When the German state of Schleswig Holstein broke away from the other 15 German states to set up its own European Commission (EC) approved online gambling regime it was expected to be the odd one out. However, there are now rumors in the German online gambling market that it could soon be joined by Saxony. Of the 15 remaining states Saxony is known to have a more liberal and progressive approach to online gambling. It sees that the remaining states have dug a hole for themselves because they have formulated a proposal that has been rejected by the EC. With the existing monopolistic and highly restrictive treaty expiring by the year end, time is running out. In the end these states may lose both the existing structure and a new legalized online gambling regime. Therefore Saxony is apparently moving in the direction of Schleswig Holstein. On the positive side this move may motivate some of the other states to give up their existing rigid positions.
The benefits of online gambling legalization and regulation are being felt in Italy. Ever since online casino gambling was brought into the framework of regulation the valuations of Italian online casino domains have increased significantly. I-Promotions Limited recently acquired the Blackjack.it domain for €65,000 and domains like OnlineCasino.it are currently up for sale at a low six figure price. OnlinePoker.it is also available to buyers willing to pay a price in the region of mid 5 figures. Trust Partners, a consultancy firm, has estimated online casino revenues in Italy for 2011 at €200 million, which is expected to increase to anywhere between €800 million and €1 billion in 2012.
Local newswire MTI in Hungary has revealed more details on the proposed online gambling regulations. A tax amendment proposal has been submitted to the Parliament by the governing Fidesz party based on a bill authored by Economy Minister Matolcsy. The proposal states that online gambling operator permits are subject to tax authority approval with effect from January 1, 2012 at a tax rate of 20% on net revenue, payable each month following a reporting period. Permits would be issued with a validity of five years and with a renewal option of a further five years. Permit applicants would have to have a minimum registered capital of HUF 200 million in a member state of the European Economic Area and a "specific certificate" validating the company's credentials in that particular line of business. Illegal online gambling operators will face fines ranging from HUF 10 to 100 million. Horse race betting and online casino card games have been included in the tax net, if operated via an electronic communication network.
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