Germany submits new gambling regulations

Germany is moving forward towards wider legalisation of iGaming in 2021.
Germany is moving forward towards wider legalisation of iGaming in 2021.

Germany has submitted its new online gambling regulations to the European Commission ahead of rolling them out next year.

Germany.- The German state has submitted its new online gambling regulations to the European Commission, taking another step towards its new framework for legal gambling to come into force from July 1, 2021.

The regulations are set out in the fourth version of Germany’s Interstate Treaty on Gambling, the Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsvertrag (GlüNeuRStV).

The treaty is still to be ratified by 13 of Germany’s 16 federal states, including Saxony-Anhalt, which will regulate the new legal iGaming market.

The new body will be responsible for overseeing a more complete iGaming market, with regulated online casino and poker games permitted in addition to online sports betting, which was already legalised by the current third edition of the treaty, but products will face significant restrictions.

The €1,000 deposit limit established in the existing regulations for online sports betting will be extended to all new products permitted, while other tight limits on sports betting including a limit on in-play wagering to final result and next goalscorer markets will be maintained.

For online slots, stakes will be limited to €1, each spin must last an average five seconds and there will be a prohibition on jackpots.

Germany’s 16 states will be allowed to maintain monopolies over the table games vertical, and if they do choose to open the market to private operators, they will only be allowed to award up to one licence for each land-based casino in their territory. 

Once ratified, the new treaty will bind states to the new legislation only until the end of 2028 after which they will be free to withdraw giving one year’s notice.

The European Commission had previously criticised this and other aspects of the treaty saying the controls and short-term duration would create an unattractive market for operators. 

The treaty would create a licensing window of one year from its implementation on July 1, 2021. The fees for licences will be decided on a scale depending on projected revenue.

At the lowest level, operators generating turnover of up to €40million will pay at 2 per cent of stakes, while at the highest, those generating €130million or more will pay €185,000 plus 0.6 per cent of any stakes over that level.

The treaty also established an advertising ban between 9pm and 6am and no advertising will be permitted in live sports broadcasts, although shirt sponsors and advertising on pitch-side boards will be permitted. 

The licensing process permitted by Germany’s existing sports-only treaty on online betting has been interrupted following a legal challenge from Austrian bookmaker Vierklee, but the Darmstadt Regional Council (DRC) has confirmed that it is still processing online sports betting licence applications.

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