A new Interstate Treaty on Gambling came into force across Germany on Thursday, July 1, allowing legal online gaming and sports betting.
The new framework includes new licensing possibilities for sports betting, virtual slot machines and online poker for private operators, whose licenses issued under this new regulation will be valid in all of Germany.
A central gambling authority in Halle, in the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt becomes the competent authority for the nationwide licensing process, and has released the licensing conditions for virtual slot machines and online poker. Casino games, such as black jack or roulette, are not covered by the licensing conditions.
Online players will only need a gaming account, providing information on name and age, among other things. In principle, players are also not allowed to deposit more than 1000 euros per month into the game account and play with it. The limit applies across all providers.
According to the treaty, organizers must use software at their own expense that can identify at an early stage which players could become addicted to gambling or are already addicted to it. In the future, those affected will be able to have themselves blocked from all amusement arcades, casinos, online casinos and sports betting. The central player lock file OASIS will be expanded for this purpose.
In addition, directly before or during the live broadcast of a sports event, it is prohibited to advertise sports betting for this game. Active athletes and officials are also no longer allowed to advertise sports betting. Advertising for virtual slot machine games, online poker and online casino games is completely forbidden from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the radio and on the Internet.
The central gaming authority in Halle in Saxony-Anhalt will ensure that providers comply with the rules and that players are protected. However, it will only take over all the planned tasks in January 2023 and should, among other things, technically block unauthorized games of chance and prevent payments for them, as the state’s interior ministry said.
A tax rate of 5.3 percent will be levied on stakes in games of chance in online casinos, analogous to racing and sports betting. This sparked criticism from the German Sports Betting Association, which claims players could switch to the black market. The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has submitted a formal state aid complaint to the European Commission in response to the German Bundesrat’s proposal to set a 5.3% tax on online poker and slots stakes in the country.