It’s the ninth online slots licence for Germany’s new regulated igaming market.
Germany.- A ninth online slots licence has been granted in Germany, going to Solar Operations Limited which will operate at Sonnenspiele.de. The licence was granted by the Saxony-Anhalt state administration office, which remains responsible for licensing until the end of this year.
It’s the latest licence to be issued following a licence awarded to Jokerstar last week. Jokerstar’s licence was notable for the company being a newcomer to the scene. Germany’s tight regulations and high tax on online slots rate mean that so far most licensees have been connected to well-established land-based gaming operations.
However, according to Solar Operations’ website, its directors include Simon Ellul Sullivan and Jeremy Camilleri. Sullivan is a director at GGC Malta, which bought the Sonnenspiele.de domain name last year. Camilleri is the managing director of Gauselmann’s Merkur eSolutions and Solis Ortus Service Ltd.
Online slots in Germany
Germany’s new online gambling legislation came into force on July 1 last year, introducing a tight regulatory regime for slots with a €1 stake limit and a 5.3 per cent tax on turnover. Licensing has been slow, with the first online slots licences not issued until earlier this year.
The first operator to receive a licence was Mernov, a joint venture between Merkur and Novomatic that has since changed its name to Deutsche Gesellschaft für Glücksspiel (DGGS). Licences followed for Tipwin and Mybet in June. The state of Saxony-Anhalt has since said that it has approved another nine operators but didn’t name them.
Saxony-Anhalt’s State Administration Office remains responsible for online slots and poker licensing until the new regulator Gemeinsamen Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL – The German Federal States’ Joint Gambling Authority) takes over on January 1, 2023.
With its licensing process taking so long, some eight applications have been withdrawn – including that from Kindred’s Unibet which has turned its back on Germany for now due to the slow licensing progress and the tight restrictions in the regulated market. Only one application has actually been rejected by the office.
The State Administration Office recently said it had referred 25 online gaming operators to the public prosecutor’s office for offering gaming without a licence in the last year. It said it had checked 871 websites and investigated 148 cases of illegal gambling and 90 cases of illegal gambling advertising.
Meanwhile, the GGL has already taken over enforcement duties, taking steps to begin to block IP addresses and payments to unlicensed operators. The regulator also plans to devise an early detection system for gambling harm and to create a centralised complaints and whistleblowing system that the public will be able to use to report gambling “irregularities”, advertising violations and suspicions of illegal gambling.