Industry welcomes German igaming transition

Regulated igaming is due to go live in Germany in July 2021.
Regulated igaming is due to go live in Germany in July 2021.

Major operators have welcomed the transition agreement despite the tight timeframe and expected hit to profits.

Germany.- Online gaming operators have largely welcomed Germany’s decision to introduce a transition period ahead of the expected regulation of igaming next July.

German states agreed last month to tolerate existing online gaming operators for the remaining period until new legislation goes live, provided that they adopt the new legislation’s rules ahead of time by October 15.

Germany’s new interstate treaty on gaming is currently going through the process of being ratified by each state.

Some have criticised the tight deadline given to adapt to the checks and limits established in the new legislation.

Operators have just two more weeks to remove all table games, remove in-play betting markets in sports, implement a €1 per spin cap on slots and a €1,000 deposit limit across accounts, and block simultaneous play on multiple slots.

Such changes also mean a hit to revenue and profits for most operators who seek to comply. All the same, the major players have largely welcomed finally having some clarity after a period of different approaches adopted by different states.

The German industry association Deutscher Sportwettenverband (DSWV) welcomed the move to ensure a smooth transition period, but criticised the timescale and said some states were still being obstructive.

Its president, Mathias Dahms, said: “An implementation period of only two weeks for complex IT projects is impossible. Under normal conditions, such a process takes several months to complete.

“In some federal states, however, efforts to frustrate the re-regulation of the gambling sector seems to be limitless,” Dahms said.

“It is apparently intended to make it as difficult as possible for private gaming providers to meet state requirements and obtain licenses. That is why the decision on the tolerance criteria was delayed for so long.”

GVC Holdings noted that the new operating conditions will probably reduce EBITDA by around £70m in 2021, but welcomed the greater certainty.

Shay Segev, chief executive of GVC, said: “The introduction of the Interstate Treaty and Tolerance Policy brings long-awaited clarity to the future of online gaming regulation in Germany.

“This development is to be welcomed, as is the greater certainty and detail it provides on operating under the new licensing regime.

“The establishment of a level playing field for responsible, licensed operators is ultimately good for German consumers, the group and the industry as a whole. It also re-enforces our position as the most globally regulated and responsible operator in our industry. 

“We look forward to building on our market-leading offer in Germany and providing our customers with the very best gaming experiences under the new regulatory framework.”

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