Saxony-Anhalt has approved online slot and poker licences for nine operators, taking the total to 12.
Germany.- Saxony-Anhalt-Anhalt’s State Administration Office has announced the approval of nine online slot and poker licences. It hasn’t named the operators that have been approved, but the new round of approvals will take the total number of licensees to 12.
Germany’s new gambling legislation came into force exactly a year ago, on July 1, 2021. Since then 71 applications for online slots and poker licences have been submitted, but only three licences had been granted to date, with Tipwin and Mybet joining Mernov last week as the only operators licensed.
With the process taking so long, some eight applications have actually been withdrawn – including that of from Kindred’s Unibet, which has turned its back on Germany for now due to the slow licensing progress and the tight restrictions in the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 Sachsen-Anhalt’s State Administration Office, which remains the regulator responsible for online slots and poker licences until the new regulator Gemeinsamen Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL – The German Federal States’ Joint Gambling Authority) is up and running.
Reports against unlicensed operators
Meanwhile, the State Administration Office 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.
President of the Sachsen-Anhalt State Administration Office Thomas Pleye said: “Every new task presents everyone involved with larger and smaller challenges – especially when it comes to two different authorities that start at the same time with different requirements and tasks, but the same goal.”
“We can be very satisfied with the results so far and are now handing over both partial tasks and personnel and thus the symbolic baton to the GGL. I wish everyone involved continued success.”
Earlier this week, the GGL announced that it will begin to block IP addresses and payments to unlicensed operators as its enforcement policy.
Based in Saxony-Anhalt, the GGL was created under the federal treaty on gambling, which established a federal regulated online gambling market from last July. 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.
Bundestag representative Anne Poggemann overseeing the creation of the regulator. Ronald Benter and Benjamin Schwanke will lead the regulator as joint chief executives.
The GGL website launched in February and the regulator has said it will have 110 staff when fully formed. Until January 1, the executive of Hesse serve as the temporary body for German sports betting licences while Saxony-Anhalt is responsible for online casino and poker licences.
Table cames are subject to different regulations and are licensed by each individual state, with states allowed to maintain a monopoly or offer licences equal to the number of land-based casinos in its territory.