Gaming in Germany Newsletter: Gaming in Germany Conference to offer operator-relevant information & updates

By | October 18, 2021

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In less than two weeks, on October 25, the 2021 Gaming in Germany Conference will take place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Berlin.

This event is not to be missed – especially if you are an operator interested in the German market. You will get:

  • A general update on the implementation of Germany’s new regulatory framework by leading experts and the main industry associations (DSWV and DOCV).
  • A session on the current tax situation and mitigating measures.
  • An in-depth look at your responsible gaming obligations and potential solutions.
  • Examples of (previous) entrepreneurial success: learn what it takes to succeed in the German market.

This is high-level information provided by local experts and immediate stakeholders that you will find nowhere else!

Our confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr. Jörg Hofmann, Head of the Gaming and Betting Law Practice Group, Melchers Law Firm
  • Mathias Dahms, President, Deutscher Sportwettenverband (DSWV)
  • Dr. Dirk Quermann, President, Deutscher Online Casinoverband (DOCV)
  • Prof. Dr. Tilman Becker, Gambling Research Center, University of Hohenheim
  • Dr. Gregor Führich, Tax Consultant, FALK GmbH
  • Mark Dieckmann, Founder & CEO, FOZUKI
  • Matthew Hickey, CEO, Gordon Moody UK
  • Steve Schrier, Author, Build Your Sales Tribe, formerly Scientific Games and Playtech
  • Birgitte Sand, CEO Birgitte Sand & Associates, fmr Director Danish Gambling Authority
  • And many other relevant experts!

The full agenda of the 2021 Gaming in Germany Conference is available here.

Don’t miss it! Register today:

Schleswig-Holstein government proposes GGR-based tax for online bankholder games

The government of Schleswig-Holstein has announced new proposals for the taxation of online bankholder games, such as roulette, blackjack, baccarat, etc.

German online gambling legislation distinguishes between, on the one hand, virtual slots games and poker, and, on the other, online versions of traditional casino table games that feature a (virtual) bankholder. The regulation of the latter category of games remains, mostly, a matter of the individual federal states.

While there exists national legislation stipulating that providers of virtual slots and poker will face a 5.3% turnover tax, the Schleswig-Holstein government now proposes a GGR-based tax for its state-licensed operators of online bankholder games.

The proposals, which are expected to be adopted by the state parliament, introduce three tax tiers depending on monthly gross gaming revenue:

  • up to €300,000, a tax rate of 34% of GGR
  • from €300,000 to €750,000, a tax rate of 39% of GGR
  • over €750,000, a tax rate of 44% of GGR

Although the proposed tax rates are high by international standards, there is wide consensus that GGR-based taxation models are far more fit for purpose than turnover-based models.

Just as Schleswig-Holstein once lead the way in the regulation of online gambling in Germany, it is to be hoped that its choice for a GGR-based taxation model will, in time, find wider emulation throughout the country – and perhaps with regard to other product verticals as well.

Upcoming Events

The following events may be of interest to the Gaming in Germany community.

  • The half-day event Reputation Matters: UK Gambling’s Future at Stake, which takes place on 2 November in London, will take an in-depth look at the current and expected regulatory pressure facing the UK gambling industry.
  • SiGMA Europe has been rescheduled to 16 – 18 November, 2021.

  • The Betting on Sports America conference and expo has been scheduled for 30 November – 2 December, 2021 and will bring together all the major players in the fast-growing North American sports betting industry.

  • The World Gaming Executive Summit is returning live on 6 – 8 December, 2021 at the W Hotel, Barcelona.

  • ICE London and iGB Affiliate London have been postponed to 1 – 3 February, 2022.

Payment blocking and licensing update

The State Administration Office (Landesverwaltungsamt) of Sachsen-Anhalt has reportedly shared a blacklist containing ca. 150 names and URLs belonging to offshore gambling operators with German payment service providers, in an attempt to make it harder for German consumers to gamble with unlicensed operators and channel demand to licensed alternatives.

Although at present there are no providers of virtual slots and casino games that are licensed to offer their services in Germany, operators who have applied for a German license and who already comply with the provisions of the recently introduced GlüStV 2021 (and thus, are subject to Germany’s current Transitional Regime) are believed to be excluded from this latest enforcement effort.

In related news, Sachsen-Anhalt’s Landesverwaltungsamt also confirmed that it will process complete license applications within three months, in accordance with a provision in German administrative law that stipulates that a right of action accrues to the applicant after three months‘ waiting.

As the first applications for virtual slots and poker were submitted in July, it stands to reason – if these applications were indeed complete – that the first licenses under the GlüStV 2021 will be announced shortly.

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