Germany’s Sachsen-Anhalt State Administration Office announced it has approved nine more licenses for virtual slot machines and poker across the country, which are now added to the three permits already issued. However, the entity has not revealed which operators they are destined for.
Operators submitted a total of 71 applications for licenses since the verticals were legalized after a new treaty came into force on July 1, 2021. Of the total, eight applications were withdrawn, three are under discussion by the Glücksspielkollegium, and only one has been rejected, with many still yet to be reviewed.
Three online companies have already been granted permission to operate online slots in the country -Tipwin, Mybet and Mernov- while poker licenses have not been approved yet.
The office also disclosed that, since the treaty came into effect, it referred 25 online operators to the public prosecutor’s office for breaking German law. The department undertook the action as part of a wider campaign against illegal online gambling operators. In total, 148 cases of illicit gambling have been investigated, and 871 websites were checked. The department also reviewed 90 cases of illegal gambling advertising.
The treaty has also implied the creation of Glücksspielbehörde (GGL), a new German regulator responsible for law enforcement, such as preventing online payments and blocking the IP addresses of illegal sites from July 1. It is expected to take full control of gambling regulation in the country on January 1, 2023. The State Treaty also includes a set of strict rules for the industry, including a €1 stake limit for slots, and is also accompanied by a 5.3% take on stakes.
Thomas Pleye, President of the Sachsen-Anhalt State Administration Office said: “Each new task presents everyone involved with major and minor 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 we are now handing over both partial tasks and personnel and thus the symbolic baton to the GGL."