Explained: Germany’s new gambling regulations for 2021

2020 has proven to be an important year for Germany’s gambling market as the country prepares to implement online gaming regulations from 2021

In January this year, Germany’s 16 federal states agreed to a brand new federal gambling law. It will see the authorisation and licensing of online casino and poker services from July 1st, 2021, as part of the new German Interstate Treaty on Gambling (ISTG).  

Between October 15th, 2020, and the introduction of the new gambling treaty, Germany has implemented a policy of transitional tolerance during which operators can choose to immediately implement rules and follow the regulations set out by the treaty. 

Adhering to the new regulations before the treaty comes into effect will help operators avoid potential prosecution and will ensure that they are ready to apply for official licensing. Failure to comply with the regulations before the treaty comes into effect could see operators have their applications for licensing refused. 

New laws and regulations 

The new treaty will reportedly introduce a tax regime for online gambling, allow for the licensing of online casinos, and will set up a country-wide gambling regulator much like the UK’s Gambling Commission. This supposed new regulator is expected to be based in Saxony-Anhalt. 

Meanwhile, the new regulations online gambling operators must follow include a rule in which all operators must pay a security deposit based on the company’s monthly turnover. Small operators are expected to pay a minimum of €5 million while larger companies could be required to pay up to €50 million. 

Other rules include allowing operators to offer different services (Casino or sports betting) on the same domain. However, they are required to split the services so they are independent and separate from one another. Operators are also barred from cross-advertising which means an operator cannot promote their sports betting platform to users on their casino platform. 

What’s more, operators are required to verify customer details and operators must impose deposit limits on customers, preventing them from depositing more than €1,000 a month across all casinos owned by an operator. Finally, online slots must have a five-second interval between spins and have a maximum stake of €1 per spin. 

There’s no doubt that most gambling operators across Europe will adhere to the new regulations but many operators, such as GVC Holdings, have warned that the new laws will have a negative impact on their earnings.  

All of these new regulations come as Germany moves to promote safer gambling and clampdown on the number of people suffering from gambling-related harm.  

Gambling regulation in the UK 

Germany’s decision to implement new rules to better protect gamblers is similar to the UK Gambling Commission’s stance on gambling. The firm, which is responsible for regulating all gambling in the UK, is committed to protecting players across the nation. 

As explained by Casinostoplay.com, the Gambling Commission has introduced various rules and regulations over the last several years. For example, one law requires operators to verify customers and their source of funds before users can deposit and play games.  

Other laws introduced by the Commission include a ban on using credit cards on gambling, rules which change how operators run their VIP schemes, and rules which require operators to clearly state the terms and conditions of their bonuses while promoting safer gambling messages. 

Meanwhile, the Commission is currently working on additional changes which will impose limitations on video slots including a minimum spin speed, as well as the removal of several features which help users speed up gameplay or play multiple slots at the same time. 

While many operators have faced difficulties over these new laws and regulations, they’ve ultimately helped gamblers all over the UK. There’s no doubt that operators in Germany will experience similar trouble, but it’s all done for the good of gamers. 

About SiGMA Europe Virtual Expo:

SiGMA Group is excited to announce the launch of their November event, SiGMA Europe Virtual Expo. The online event, which runs from the 24th to 25th, will focus on the European gaming and tech marketplace.

For more information about how to sponsor this event please contact Hamza and to explore speaking opportunities get in touch with Jeremy. To register for the expo click here.

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