Germany’s 16 minister-presidents ratify gaming legislation

The minister-president of Germany’s 16 states have finally agreed on gaming legislation.
The minister-president of Germany’s 16 states have finally agreed on gaming legislation.

The new legislation allowing regulated igaming was ratified at the annual meeting of state heads.

Germany.- The minister-presidents of Germany’s 16 federal states have signed off the country’s new gaming legislation, reaching a unanimous compromise after years of disagreements.

The heads of state ratified the legislation at their annual conference, which was held virtually. The procedure is a key step to the implementation of the new regulatory framework from July 2021.

The new legislation opens the online gaming market to slots, poker and sports betting, all regulated by a new body in Sachsen-Anhalt. 

Individual states will maintain their monopolies on lottery products and will have the option to maintain a monopoly on table games.

The German gaming arcades association Deutsche Automatenwirtschaft (DAW) welcomed the ratification of the legislation, which will allow states to issue multiple slot and gaming hall licences based on qualitative assessment.

DAW spokesperson Georg Stecker said: “Now it is important that the federal states consider the quality of amusement arcades when implementing contracts, both on the subject of multiple concessions and minimum distances.” 

The legislation must now be ratified by at least 13 of Germany’s 16 state parliaments before April 30 in order to enter force on schedule from July 1.

Georg Wacker, managing director of Lotto Baden-Württemberg, said the state parliaments should act quickly following the minister-presidents’ ratification.

He said: “Now the ball is in the states’ court; they must convert the treaty  into valid state law so the regulations can be implemented.”

Operators currently active on the unregulated market are to be allowed to continue operating under transition arrangements provided they comply with the terms of the new regulatory framework by December 15.

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