Germany set to fully legalise online gaming with new gambling regulations: Our take!

Germany has this week announced new gaming regulations, which will legalise online poker, casino games and sports betting in the country from 1st July 2021.

A new regulatory authority, established through the GlüNeuRStV, based in Sachsen-Anhalt will supervise the market. As it stands each of the German states and the European Commission must first approve the Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsvertrag (GlüNeuRStv) bill before any changes will take place. Until then, the third state will remain in place which limits online betting in Germany, until 30th June 2021. 

While this is good news for Germany and the online gaming industry, there are certain restrictions placed on Germany’s online gambling market, which we outline below. 

Validity and enforcement 

  • The states of Berlin and Nordrhein-Westfalen are currently working on finalising the legislation. Once finalised it then needs to be approved in all 16 local state parliaments. 
  • Berlin and Nordrhein-Westfalen are also tasked with establishing a tax revenue sharing scheme of all 16 states. 
  • The currently active S-H licenses in Germany have been extended up to 2024, which allows for some coverage for existing players however, this is restricted to the territory of S-H.

Definition and requirements

  • Live casino games will remain illegal unless a local state-by-state land-based casino is involved with its concession. 
  • Virtual slot game products are not able to offer sports betting or any other form of gambling. 
  • The legislation clearly defines the difference between what is viewed as legal and illegal. Illegal products include anything that uses the terms ‘betting, live casino poker‘, etc and all Jackpot games. 
  • The mandatory monthly default deposit limit of €1000 enforced across all virtual slot game operators (included in the third state treaty) will remain in place. 
  • There is a default maximum wager for virtual slot machines of  €1 however, the regulatory authority can adjust this as and when they approve individual games and set the required limits. 
  • Online poker will remain illegal. 
  • Taxation on a corporate level will take place in the country of residence of the operator. 
  • It is mandatory that license filing is in German, it is also a requirement that a local German person is nominated as a contact as part of the application process.

Gaming advertising in Germany

  • Operators are not permitted to advertise between the hours of 18.00 – 21.00. 
  • Adverts for “free-to-play” virtual slot games are deemed as illegal. 
  • The currently active S-H licenses can no longer be used to cover nationwide advertising.

We will keep you updated on any advancements from Germany on this as and when they are announced. In the meantime, stay tuned to our blog for more industry updates, tech trends and news and reviews on our iGaming solutions. 

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