Bwin.party digital entertainment Plc and Betfair Group Plc (BET) advanced in London trading after the German state of Schleswig-Holstein passed rules that open the region to online sports-betting companies.
The 46-to-45 vote breaks from Germany’s other 15 states, which had sought a nationwide framework for betting after the European Union’s top court last year ruled that the country’s betting monopoly didn’t comply with European laws. Bwin.party climbed 9.1 percent, and Betfair 3 percent.
Betfair said it welcomed the step, which allows for an unlimited number of licenses for sports betting, poker and some casino games, plus a less onerous tax regime than that proposed by the other German states. The rules proposed by the 15 states would limit licenses to seven, and would place a 17 percent tax on betting stakes, while the Schleswig-Holstein rules tax gross profit, and provide for an unlimited number of licenses.
“This represents the opening up of Germany to online gaming, in due course, on reasonable commercial terms,” Ivor Jones, an analyst for Numis Securities, wrote in a note to investors. “At worst, it will greatly delay the introduction of a more restrictive regime.”
Betfair said in an e-mailed statement it welcomed the rules as ‘creating a genuinely open, transparent and responsible gambling market in Germany.”
Bwin.party rose 10.4 pence to 124.4 pence in London. Betfair rose 20.9 pence to 720 pence, erasing earlier losses.
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