About Betting and Gambling in Germany is about to change. After years of negotiations, the federal states have agreed on a legislative reform that will largely allow online gambling for the first time to play betting, online poker and play virtual roulette tables. Online poker and digital roulette games, but also virtual slot machines would be legal for the first time in the history of Germany when federal states approved it. For sports betting providers who have been operating in a legal gray area and sometimes illegally, there should be permanent permits to play games, sports betting, online poker as well as roulette tables. The state lottery monopoly remains. The heads of state are expected to adopt the new gaming regulation at their next conference that is expected on March 5 this year.
Germany is the largest gambling market in the whole Europe
According to data from the federal states, lottery companies, sports betting and casino providers in this country have a turnover of 13.9 billion euros yearly. The black market is so much huge: a fifth of this amount is accounted for by previously illegal offers. It is estimated that providers of illegal online casinos earn around two billion euros a year alone only by betting, gambling, and casinos. The largest share still has slot machines in restaurants and arcades with a market share of a good 42 percent, followed by the 16 lottery companies in the federal states with around 33 percent. Illegal offers have been growing fastest for years in Germany from many years..
The federal states are reacting to the pressure created by the booming black market with the new law. The federal states largely responsible for gaming law have not succeeded in enforcing the bans that have been in force to date. Black market providers from abroad could act without fear of consequences. Proponents of a market opening criticize that the state has lost tax revenue for years. With the proposed regulation, critics fear increasing addiction risks, especially for younger people that is not helpful for them.
Special rules apply to classic casino games like roulette in Online Gambling
According to the new State Treaty on Gaming, a national competent authority is to be created, which will be responsible for regulating the online offers in the future in gaming, gambling, betting, and casinos industry. According to the draft, players should not deposit more than 1000 euros per month across all illegal ways of earning and offers. The cash flows are to be monitored centrally. A nationwide lock file should cut off addicts from all game offers. Providers must also demonstrate an “automated system” for the early detection of gamblers at risk.
The previous separation requirement is no longer applicable: In the future, it should be allowed to offer sports betting and slot machines on the same online platform, and also to broker lotteries. According to the law, casino games such as roulette and blackjack are to be distinguished. Only state-licensed companies, such as casinos, are to be given permits for this, whereby the federal states can largely decide for themselves about the details of the rules. Advertising for the then legal online offers should in principle be permitted.
So far, Schleswig-Holstein was the only federal state to grant temporary permission for online providers. These had expired in early 2019; the state government in Kiel had extended it. State Chancellor Dirk Schrödter spoke of a good result on Wednesday. The countries “had demonstrated the ability to act”. The state chancellery in North Rhine-Westphalia, which was in charge of the negotiations, did not want to comment on the planned reform at this time. Industry associations have been invited to Düsseldorf for a hearing on 19 February. No fundamental changes are expected in negotiation circles. After the decision at the beginning of March, the state parliaments had to ratify the law, after which the EU Commission still had to agree to the rules. The law is due to enter into force on July 1, 2021 – then the previous state treaty will expire.
Beware of the hype
Germans are increasingly providing for old age with ETF savings plans – also because they often seem cheap. But more and more providers are charging fees for offers that were free for a long time.