Gaming in Germany Newsletter: State Gambling Treaty enters into force

By | July 6, 2021

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On July 1, both the updated German State Gambling Treaty (GlüStV 2021) and the amended Racing Betting and Lotteries Act (Rennwett- und Lotteriegesetz) entered into force.

Licensed operators may now offer online gambling services throughout the country while facing a predictable (if sometimes punishing) tax burden.

While the good news is that Germany-facing online operators are now offered legal certainty for the first time ever, there are widespread concerns over the long-term sustainability of the market.

Because of its size, Germany will always be an interesting market, but overly burdensome regulations may mean that new players will be eventually lured away by more comprehensive and attractive black-market offerings.

Furthermore, short-term uncertainty remains, as the new national regulator is currently far from fully operational. Moreover, the mandated cross-provider deposit limit and activity databases are not yet implemented (and may not even be technically feasible). Last but not least, not a single virtual slots or online poker license has yet been issued.

As a result, despite having officially ended, the transitional regime for (future) compliant online operators will remain, practically speaking, in force for the foreseeable future.

The fact that the GlüStV 2021 has entered into force before the necessary technical and organizational infrastructure could be implemented, means that it will take at least several months before more clarity about the regulated German online market can be expected.

Save the date | 2021 Gaming in Germany Conference

As more will become clear in the coming months about the direction of travel of the regulated German online gambling market, we have decided to schedule the 2021 Gaming in Germany Conference for October 25, 2021.

The conference will take place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Berlin, which is located directly at the iconic Potsdamer Platz.

Our first confirmed speaker is Germany’s leading gambling lawyer Jörg Hofmann, Past President of the International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL) and Head of the Gaming & Betting Law Practice Group of Melchers Law Firm.

Due to quickly rising vaccination rates across Germany and Europe, we expect that the event will be subject to minimal (if any) Covid-related restrictions. After many months of restricted travel, we hope to be finally able to meet each other in person!

Save the date!

Darmstadt Regional Council publishes updated sports betting licensing conditions

Following the entry into force of the GlüStV 2021 on July 1, the Darmstadt Regional Council (Regierungspräsidium Darmstadt), which is currently responsible for sports betting licensing throughout Germany, has published updated licensing requirements for providers of online and land-based betting services.

On that very same date, the Darmstadt Regional Council was also supposed to start processing applications from operators to connect to Germany’s national player exclusion and protection register, OASIS. Perhaps as a sign of things to come, the date from which operators can request to connect to OASIS has, however, been postponed to August 2.

Malta greylisted by financial crimes watchdog

Malta has been put on a grey list by the world’s money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog (FATF), in a move which could seriously damage the island’s economy.

The FATF presented Malta with an action plan to remedy the shortcomings in the country’s regime to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing, which the Maltese government has promised to implement.

Already, several gaming companies have experienced a sharp decline in share prices, thought to be related to Malta’s greylisting.

Upcoming Events

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

  • The third edition of CasinoBeats Summit will return to Malta from 14 – 15 July, 2021, as part of Summer iGaming Week organized in partnership with KPMG and Gaming Malta.

  • Don’t miss the 2021 Gaming in Holland Conference on 28 September, 2021 just days before the official opening of the regulated Dutch online market. René Jansen, Chair of the Netherlands Gambling Authority, will deliver the conference keynote speech.
  • 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.

Online Event report: Publicly listed operators and the German and Dutch online gambling markets

Click here for the Online Event report

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