Third State Treaty on gambling ratified in Germany

Third State Treaty on gambling ratified in Germany
The treaty was ratified on Thursday in Germany. Credits:

The 16 federal states have ratified the treaty and paved the way for operators to apply for sports betting licences.

Germany.- Lawmakers from Germany held on Thursday the Minister-Presidents’ Conference, where they ratified the third amended State Treaty on Gambling. This allows Schleswig-Holstein to run its own regulatory scheme and paves the way for operators to apply for sports betting licences.

The Minister-Presidents from the 16 federal states agreed yesterday to sign the Treaty. The licences will take effect on January 1, 2020 and run until June 30, 2021. This Treaty will be submitted to the European Commission to be ratified and is expected to be approved in April. Lawmakers will review more gambling regulations in 2021.

This treaty removed the 20-licence limit that was in place. It also sets a 5% turnover tax, prohibits in-play betting and sets a limit on player spending at €1,000. Just like before this amendment, sports betting is the only vertical allowed in Germany.

Schleswig-Holstein will run its own scheme

German state Schleswig-Holstein will be able to run its own regulatory scheme until 2021. Last week, state legislators proposed new legislation that would extend casino licences that have already expired. It would allow operators that hold an expired licence to obtain the authorisation to continue its iGaming and casino operations across the German state until legislators can issue new licences. The licences would be valid until June 30, 2021.

Hans-Jörn Arp, parliamentary leader of the Christian Democratic Union in Schleswig-Holstein, said: “Today’s decision of the Minister President Conference to present the foundations for follow-up regulations to the State Treaty on Gambling, means we have finally achieved a breakthrough after ten years and gained recognition from the other federal states,” Arp said.

“For Schleswig-Holstein, this is a great success, after the state had long met with resistance to its forward-looking solution in the field of gambling. Now the other federal states are pulling in the same direction after they were finally convinced that the Schleswig-Holstein model is expedient,” he said.

Furthermore, Deutsche Automatenwirtschaft, the local association of slots manufacturers, asked lawmakers to use the time before the expiration of the Treaty in 2021 to come up with new regulations: “[The consensus] is a first step. However, the main goal, namely the much-needed, coherent regulation of all forms of gambling, is still pending,” said CEO Georg Stecker.

“Only when all forms of gambling, including commercial slot machines, are regulated according to quality standards, can the black market be contained, consumers sustainably protected and legal businesses strengthened,” he added.

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