iGaming Given Go-Ahead in Germany
German politicians have moved to approve the use of online casino games in the country.
The powers that be have agreed to the use of iGaming, as long as operators agree to the terms of the regulatory framework, which is due to come into play from July 1, 2021.
Limitations Within the Agreement
Germany’s sixteen Minister-Presidents have made up the agreement, in which operators are allowed to continue to offer online slot games, sports betting, and poker as long as they work to make sure they are in line with the terms of what is known as the by Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsvertrag (GlüneuRStV) October 15, 2020.
By the date given, betting companies will need to ensure they are compliant with all player protection guidelines and other prevention measures as listed in the GlüneuRStV.
Among the guidelines is the need for those offering sports betting to limit in-play wagering to ‘next goalscorer’ and ‘final results’, while online slot game operators must enforce a €1 per spin stake limit.
Table games, i.e. roulette, craps etc., will not be allowed during the forthcoming transition period. Such products are already required to be offered separately from slots, while individual German states can choose to grant lottery licences.
Bad News for High-Rollers
Germany’s whales won’t be happy either. A €1,000 monthly spending limit will be applied across the board, though some players may have this limit raised to €10,000 over time.
Even then, these limits are only to be permitted should a max bet amount be set for the player. A specific loss limit needs to be applied, something that will prevent players from losing any more than 20% of their maximum spends across the month.
Each game provider or bookmaker is permitted to allow a small number of their members a spending cap of €10,000 to €30,000, but this can only be applied to a maximum of 1% of registered players. There may well have been a gross underestimation on behalf of lawmakers of the number of high-rollers who wish to spend the millions they have.
Those found in breach of the limitations placed within the agreement can see their temporary authorisation withdrawn. That, in turn, would likely end up with said operator not receiving a full licence in July 2021.
Enforcement Action on the Cards
While the transition period is in place, enforcement action can proceed against any operators acting illegally. Such efforts are aimed at targeting bookmaking operators who did not apply for legitimate licences required under the third amendment State Treaty.
Those failing to implement the new controls for online poker and slot games and casino table games are also targeted. Any operators in breach will have payments blocked.
The conditions listed in the Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsvertrag will not be applied in Schleswig-Holstein, however.
The state has fostered a more liberal framework for the transition period, one in which all gaming and betting products are allowed and are subject to a 20% gross revenue tax. It must be said, however, that this will indeed be replaced by the GlüneuRStV from July 1, 2021, along with the rest of the country.
The upcoming transition period has been discussed in detail now for several weeks and months. It became apparent in July that Bavaria, Berlin, Hamburg, and Nordrhein-Westfalen were all playing major roles in the talks, while other states disagreed with conclusions and have expressed their concerns.
Certainly, Germany is now a place to keep a cautious eye on over the next year or so.