Germany begins long road to approving gambling treaty

Germany's gaming legislation needs the approval of 13 out of 16 states.
Germany's gaming legislation needs the approval of 13 out of 16 states.

The mayor of Berlin looks set to be the first state leader to approve the proposed federal regulatory framework for gambling. 

Germany.- The mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, looks set to become the first state leader to sign Germany’s new gaming legislation, which is due to come into force next July.

Berlin’s minister of the interior, Andreas Geisel, has approved the Interstate Treaty on Gambling, opening the way for the city-state’s mayor to sign it. The legislation must also be ratified by Berlin’s parliament, the Abgeordnetenhaus.

That same process will have to be followed in all of Germany’s 16 states, making it still a long road ahead for the Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsvertrag.

The legislation must be approved by at least 13 out of the country’s 16 states if it is to come into force when planned from June 30.

In the meantime, Germany’s states will effectively begin to implement the new legislation from October 15 as part of a transition period agreed last week.

The agreement assumes that the treaty will finally be approved in time for next year.

From next month, operators already offering products in the currently unregulated online gaming market will be allowed to offer online sports betting, poker and slots so long as they meet the rules established in the new treaty.

That includes application of a €1 stake limit for online slots and restrictions on in-play betting on sports. Operators will still be prohibited from offering table games during the transition period.

Major operators including GVC and Tipico welcomed the move, though noted that they still lacked clarity on certain parts of the legislation.

Tipico’s chief regulatory officer, Karin Klein, said: “Not all the requirements are known yet. Therefore, we are seeking an exchange with the responsible authorities in order to obtain clarity about the technical and practical requirements and their implementation.

“The agreement reflects the social change. Online gambling enjoys great popularity worldwide. It is important for players to have access to secure offers from reputable providers. Therefore, the agreement makes an important contribution to player protection and the fight against the black market.”

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