Germany Prepares for Online Gambling Legalization

  • Legal
  • Written by Anette
  • Posted on October 26, 2020
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Home News & Articles Germany Prepares for Online Gambling Legalization

In March 2020, the German federal states decided to accept a new German Interstate Treaty on Gambling (Glücksspielstaatsvertrag 2021 or GlüStV 2021). The new policy is to introduce some significant changes to the German gambling laws.

The new law regulates online gambling in Germany and should come into force on July 1, 2021. However, the preparations have already begun, as the new legislation will open the German market and control online gambling under strict rules to protect the players.

Even though the law is strict, the German Interstate Treaty on Gambling (ISTG 2021) is legalizing online gambling through a licensing process. The law will enforce new licensing regimes for online slots, online poker, and table games, while the existing licenses for sports betting and lotteries will be extended.

The licensing procedure will be rigorous to eradicate illegal gambling. The license will be valid for five years. However, the licensing of online casino games will be subject to a different law.

The new procedure for obtaining a gambling license will not start before July 2021. The GlüStV 2021 needs to be accepted by at least 13 out of the 16 federal states by April 30, 2021. If this happens, the law will come into force on July 1, 2021.

The Specifics of the New Law

The new gambling regulation forbids players from using multiple player accounts with different operators simultaneously. To prevent this, a five-minute break will be mandatory between logging out of one account and logging into another. The aim is to prohibit gamblers from playing offerings from different online casino providers at the same time.

The account registration procedure is going to be strict, requesting true credentials from the player that will be verified by the operator. Advertising will be permitted but with time limits. Furthermore, the players will have to set a monthly gambling deposit limit to a maximum of 1,000 EUR per month across different gambling platforms.

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The law also introduces a 5-second pause between reel spins and a maximum stake per spin of 1 EUR by December 15, 2020. Finally, online gambling providers must offer their games in the German language.

The new regulation will also advocate the decrease of gambling-related issues by promoting social responsibility.

A Transitional Regime

The German states adopted a transitional regime to help operators adjust to new requirements and comply with player protection demands. This regime allows unlicensed sports betting, online slots, and online poker providers to continue working without a German license until October 15, 2020.

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Read more about the new gambling legislation in Germany.
The German gambling authorities published a list of general and technical requirements operators need to apply to continue working after October 15. General requirements include that the operators need to have a registered office in the EU or EEA, a “panic-button” enabling 24-hour ban, and a German-language website.

Operators Welcome New German Regulations

One of the first gaming operators who announced it’s prepared for the transitional period was UK-based GVC Holdings.

Following the example of GVC Holdings, Microgaming also announced full compliance and launch of a solution following new online gambling requirements. The new platform helped Microgaming partners be technically prepared to continue working without legal issues.

Other operators that announced they were meeting new German regulations are Endorphina, Relax Gaming, Yggdrasil, etc.

All of these gaming suppliers said they were fully compliant with Germany’s requirements, assuring they won’t face prosecution by German authorities or be banned from submitting a licensing application in 2021.

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