Germany allows online casinos to operate provided they comply with draft treaty rules yet to come into force

Germany has allowed the already existing casino and poker organizations in the state to continue functioning provided they adhere to treaty norms set by the state.

There is a growing and huge market for online gambling and betting in Germany. The country is already trying to battle black market with respect to gambling sector. In furtherance of the same, the group of 16 states in Germany had decided to legalize casinos, gambling, betting and limited forms of in-play sports betting earlier this year.

The country had worked upon a framework for a new federal gambling law, which will take effect from July 1, 2021.

However, Germany has recently announced that it may allow the casino operators to continue functioning in these 16 states if they already follow the rules mentioned in the federal gambling treaty, before it actually comes into force.

The draft language of the treaty places certain restrictions on the functioning of the casinos and other gambling and betting sports. These restrictions include strict caps on deposits and a €1-per-spin stake limit for online slots play. There will also be a central registry for gamblers who wish to self-exclude from all German-licensed sites and operators would have to employ an ‘automated system’ for early detection of suspected problem gambling activity.

A ban on advertising of gambling has also been imposed between 6 am and 11 pm and a blanket ban on advertising during live sports tournaments.

German authorities have stated that if the operators comply with the draft treaty rules by October 15, 2020, they would not be prosecuted nor any criminal action would be taken against such operators.

While the operators in Germany are already pressuring government to ease the restrictions and have also approached Supreme Court with respect to unfairness in the license allotment process, the results are yet to be seen.

The operators have also expressed serious concerns about ability of the government to regulate the market as many operators would continue to operate illegally and the license holders would be placed at a disadvantageous position.

The Treaty is set to come into effect from July 1, 2021, till then gambling continues to be illegal in Germany.


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