December 15, 2011 / 1:45 PM / 6 years ago

German states sign new gambling law

BERLIN, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Fifteen of Germany’s 16 federal states gave their approval on Thursday to a new gambling law which will open up 20 sports betting licences and introduce a 5 percent gambling sales tax.

State premier Peter Harry Carstensen of Schleswig-Holstein, the only state not to add its signature to the new law, told reporters it would still need approval from the European Commission.

But another premier, Reiner Haseloff of Saxony-Anhalt, said the approval of Brussels was expected.

Betting companies from other EU countries have complained that the new German law would favour state gambling monopolies and limit their activities in the German sports betting market, which is estimated to be worth 5 billion euros.

British online gambling company Betfair has urged EU regulators to block the new German law.

Reporting by Thorsten Severin; Writing by Stephen Brown

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