A Look at Germany's New Online Gambling Regulations

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Mon 9th Nov, 2020

Germany is currently in the middle of approving new online gambling platforms, having introduced new gambling regulations earlier this year. Here is a look at those regulations in more detail.

What are the current regulations for online gambling in Germany?
The legal status of online gambling in Germany has always been somewhat of a grey issue, which is why new online gambling regulations have recently been determined. At present, it is illegal for a German operator to host an online gaming site. However, the placing of bets online is a little less clear. One thing that is certain is Germans can wager and play games at a foreign online casino perfectly legally because companies based outside of Germany are not beholden to German law.

What are the new regulations?
At the beginning of 2020, heads of state in Germany met and approved gambling regulations to legalize both online casinos and online poker. The new laws come into effect as of 1 July 2021. The meeting in Berlin also determined the location of Germany's new regulatory authority.

The Gluecksspielneuregulierungstaatsvertrag regulates online gaming activities such as betting at internet-based casinos. However, it must now be ratified by each state parliament in the country and be approved by the European Commission. The new regulatory framework of the Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsvertrag includes strict measures with regards to elements like player protection guidelines and measures for tackling gambling addiction.

Under the new framework, online casino operators can provide poker, slot games, and sports betting. However, limits will be in place for spin-stakes, and online table games like roulette and blackjack will not be allowed during the transition period. If any online gambling platforms breach the regulations, it will result in license withdrawal and possible blacklisting.

What do the new regulations mean for sports betting?
Despite online sports betting becoming legal under the new regulations, there are still restrictions in place. For example, live sports betting is limited to markets on the next scorer or final result, even though that policy has been criticized by official bodies like the gambling operator association the Deutscher Sportwettenverband.

What do the new regulations mean for slot games?
Under the new regulations, slot games will be subject to a stake limit of EUR1 per spin. They must also be offered separately to table games, and they cannot include jackpots or auto-play functions. Furthermore, each state in Germany will be able to decide whether to allow table games or not.

What do the new regulations mean for marketing?
The new rules mean operators of online gambling platforms will not be allowed to advertise between the hours of 6 am and 9 pm. However, some private broadcasters are challenging that decision because it will mean a reduction in potential advertising revenue for them and a reduction in attracting new visitors to the online casinos.

Do the new regulations mean there will soon be lots of new online casinos operating in Germany?
The official body that now regulates licenses for online gambling platforms, the Regional Council of Darmstadt, which is located in the state of Hesse, has yet to approve any new online casinos in Germany. But shortly after the new regulations were announced, the Regional Council of Darmstadt received 30 applications in February, and 20 more operators signaled that they intended to apply. If all 50 applications are approved, it is thought sports betting alone will increase the online gambling market by up to 99%. But you will have to wait until next summer to see how many new online gambling establishments are actually granted approval

Image source: https://pixabay.com/photos/casino-sweepstakes-online-profit-4518183

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