πŸ€‘ Gaming in Germany: overview | Practical Law

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Germany's 16 state leaders have approved new gambling regulations and given approval for the creation of a new regulatory body, the.


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Gambling Laws and Regulations covering issues in Germany of Relevant Authorities and Legislation, Application for a Licence and Licence.


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Germany's New Gaming Legislation. As of 1st July , sports betting, online poker, and online casino games will become legal in Germany.


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Germany's New Gaming Legislation. As of 1st July , sports betting, online poker, and online casino games will become legal in Germany.


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German lawmakers have given their seal of approval to a set of new gambling regulations that will allow online casinos and online poker for the.


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The new law will bring substantial changes to the German gambling regulation, including: New licensing options for online poker, virtual slots.


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The new law will bring substantial changes to the German gambling regulation, including: New licensing options for online poker, virtual slots.


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Slot machine gambling is regulated to a large extent by federal law. The Trade Regulation Act (Gewerbeordnung) and the Gaming Ordinance (Spielverordnung)​.


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Germany has agreed to legalize online poker and casino on a state level, after all head of states, in a recent meeting in Berlin, approved the.


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As things stand now, online gambling is largely outlawed across Germany with the exception of the two dozen or so operators who have licenses to operate in.


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Licences for the operation of land-based casinos, issued under the Casino Acts of the different states, usually have a licence term of about 10 years with an option to extend the term for a further five years. The law was passed in the Schleswig-Holstein parliament in May and entered into force in June Licences, thus, continue to be valid until a possible new interstate regulation is passed. However, due to a change in government, Schleswig-Holstein ultimately acceded to the Interstate Treaty. Strict entrance controls need to be established in order to ensure that this is the case. For sports betting operators, the Third Amendment Interstate Treaty will provide for a licensing process; but, at the time of writing, the conditions for future licences remain unclear. Generally, the provisions on lotteries apply. Direct enforcement has not substantially increased since, but indirect measures such as payment blocking are being taken increasingly. Consequently, the Interstate Treaty does not provide for a licensing process or determine a competent authority. The operation of traditional lottery products, such as the national lottery or other large-scale lotteries, as well as pool-betting, is subject to the state monopoly. In Schleswig-Holstein, the Ministry of the Interior is the regulator responsible for supervising licensees. Sports betting : Licence for the operation and brokerage of online sports betting across Germany, and for land-based sports betting in betting shops. Private operators may not apply for such licences. Same applies to brokers of state lottery products, which can be privately-owned entities, unless these operate in multiple German states, as the Ministry of the Interior of Lower Saxony will be the nationwide responsible licensing and supervisory authority in that case. Other forms of betting with the exception of horse race betting; see below are affected by the total ban if offered online. Online casino gambling : The Interstate Treaty does not provide for a licensing system for online casino operations and, instead, sets out a total ban on any online games of chance other than sports betting, horse race betting and lotteries see sec. Casino gaming including poker : Licence for the operation of land-based casinos although the majority of casinos are state-operated. Lotteries : Licence for the brokerage and sale of traditional state lottery products land-based and online ; licence for the operation of small or charitable lotteries which have their draw results published less than twice a week, have a top prize worth less than EUR 2 million and do not have a scheduled jackpot. The Gaming Act of Schleswig-Holstein, contrary to the Interstate Treaty, allowed for the issuance of licences for private sports betting and online casino operators. Licences issued by states, which have no cross-state effect, will generally be limited in scope to the territory of the state in question. No national sports betting licences have been issued to date despite a licensing process having been initiated in The process could not be completed as it was confirmed to violate the principle of transparency and non-discrimination by German and European courts. Therefore, poker is only permitted in state-owned casinos and may not be offered online. With the aim of avoiding the expiry of these licences, and in an attempt to maintain a regulated market, Schleswig-Holstein took transitional measures. Lottery including bingo : Only state lottery companies may apply for operating licences. Although subject to controversy, the majority of German courts have so far regarded poker as a game of chance and not a game of skill. Thus, legal certainty is currently out of sight. Sports betting : Fixed odds fantasy betting is permissible under the Interstate Treaty, but fantasy betting involving a pool tote remains subject to a state monopoly.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} They may only apply for a licence allowing brokerage of the state lottery products. As online casinos are forbidden under the Interstate Treaty, there is no licensing regime available for online casino operators. The Third Amendment Interstate Treaty will introduce a new licensing process, under which licences will be issued from January onward. By product, the following licences are currently albeit, in parts, only theoretically available to private operators:. It will depend on the gambling product as to whether there are licences available, and which licences or other permits are required or can be applied for, for the lawful offer of the relevant products to persons located in Germany. The Interstate Treaty restricts the application of the licence to the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany and countries that recognise the German permit for their sovereign territories. There is no uniform structure for the licensing regimes available in Germany. Some aspects of the licensing procedure have been clarified, but a lot of issues remain in the air at the time of writing. The total ban has been heavily criticised under EU law. The former regulation in Schleswig-Holstein enabled private operators to obtain licences for online casino gaming , with the exception of bank-holder games such as blackjack, baccarat and roulette. However, the Third Amendment Interstate Treaty, which is supposed to enter into force in January , maintains a total ban on online casinos. If an operator fails to comply with the licence conditions, any licence may be revoked. Casino gaming including poker : Some federal states limit the number of tables and slots allowed in casinos. Private operators may only apply for distribution brokering licences, allowing them to sell lottery tickets on behalf of the state lottery companies to promote the products offered by the state lottery companies. The authority conducting the licensing process The Regional Council of Darmstadt has published details on the application procedure, and requirements thereto, and will continue to clarify certain issues. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}ICLG - Gambling Laws and Regulations - Germany covers common issues in gambling laws and regulations β€” including relevant authorities and legislation, application for a licence, licence restrictions, digital media, enforcement and liability β€” in 39 jurisdictions. The Amendment has been notified to the EU commission and is supposed to enter into force on 1 January , but has to be ratified by the end of December The Interstate Treaty is implemented by specific state legislation; in particular, the Gaming Acts of the individual states. The same applies to brokers of state lottery products, which can be privately-owned entities, unless these operate in multiple German states, as the Ministry of the Interior of Lower Saxony will be the nationwide responsible licensing and supervisory authority in that case. The Gaming Act of Schleswig-Holstein thus continues to apply in relation to these licensees until 30 June , unless reforms lead to the creation of a new licensing regime. Skill games and competitions with no element of chance do not fall under the definition of games of chance and hence are not affected by gambling regulation. The Interstate Treaty only regulates sports betting. Horse race betting : For traditional reasons, horse race betting is regulated under federal law. It will also be the regulator responsible should action be taken against non-Schleswig-Holstein licensed operators on the basis of the Interstate Treaty. Please include in this answer any material promotion and advertising restrictions. There is no specific authority responsible for fantasy betting matters. The Race Betting and Lottery Act contains provisions on the organisation of bets on horses and taxation rules for lotteries and sports betting in general. In total, 23 such licences were issued. Since bingo is generally considered a lottery product, it is subject to the state monopoly and thus regulated as detailed below Lotteries. Nevertheless, litigation is to be expected since the conditions for operating sports betting set out in the Interstate Treaty are very strict and their interpretation is difficult to predict. Betting : The Interstate Treaty only considers online and retail sports betting, i. Sports betting licences issued pursuant to the future Third Amendment Treaty will be valid until the end of an experimental period on 30 June , with an option to extend the period until 30 June Any licensee needs to comply with all the requirements during the whole period of holding the licence. Licences, however, will not be revoked immediately and without prior notice. There are no general application procedures or timelines since each process very much depends on the kind of licence an operator applies for. Horse race betting : Bookmaker licence under the Race Betting and Lottery Act, as well as the online horse betting licence pursuant to sec. The Ministries of the Interior or Regional Councils entrusted in in the respective states will be the authorities responsible for licensing and supervision of their respective state lottery company. The latter does not apply to online casino licensees of Schleswig-Holstein. Betting on esports is not considered sports betting. The state opened up the possibility of obtaining a transitional arrangement for sports betting in Schleswig-Holstein and introduced a law by which formerly granted online casino licences were revalidated. In particular, in-play betting is strongly restricted, a monthly stake limit of EUR 1, applies in general and parallel online casino operations are completely prohibited. These controls include matching the players with a nationwide player-barring database. Games of chance are defined as games where payment of consideration is required in order to acquire a chance to win and the determination of winnings is entirely or predominantly a matter of chance. In addition, licences are often issued under conditions such as refraining from certain publicity measures. Bets on non-sports events e. Furthermore, applicants will need to demonstrate that they are willing to provide safe and transparent services and wish to comply with the gaming regulation. Horse racing associations are licensed and supervised by the authorities responsible in the respective state mostly the Ministries of the Interior or Regional Councils entrusted with these responsibilities depending on the case. Licensing requirements and the necessary documentation have been published, but licences will not be issued before January The Trade Regulation Act and the Gaming Ordinance provide the framework regulation and set out the requirements applicable to AWPs; the Interstate Treaty and gaming legislation of the individual states include further restrictions to gaming hall premises, such as the requirement for a minimum distance to be maintained between such premises. The responsibility has since been delegated to the Regional Council of Darmstadt. Between January and February , the state of Schleswig-Holstein pursued its own gambling regulation. The central responsibility for issuing sports betting licences was assigned to the state of Hesse. They may be operated without a licence, yet restrictions may apply resulting from general consumer or minor protection laws. The Casino Acts usually distinguish between table games e. Slot machine gaming : Licence for land-based slot machine gaming AWPs in gaming halls or restaurants and bars. Operators will usually be contacted by the regulators and will be given a chance to comment on and review the alleged violations of the licence conditions and to resolve the issues within a certain timeframe. Online casino operations are affected by the online ban. Any application process will, however, set out certain requirements that the applicant or the business corporation needs to fulfil in order to qualify for a licence. In Saxony and Baden-Wuerttemberg, poker is not expressly mentioned, but will be approved when presenting an adequate gaming concept when applying for a licence, and is therefore not excluded. Barred players may not enter the gaming area or play in casinos. Licences issued under the Gaming Act of Schleswig-Holstein lasted for six plus four if they had been considered extendable years. The classification of fantasy betting as gambling depends on the individual circumstances and particularly on the mechanics of the respective game. A constitutional complaint has been filed against this judgment. Any gambling activity falling within this definition is subject to specific gambling legislation. In May , Schleswig-Holstein passed a law by which formerly-granted online casino licences were revalidated. The Interstate Treaty makes it a precondition for an operator to hold a licence, yet does not provide for licensing opportunities for betting on non-sports events. The Interstate Treaty, originally concluded by the federal states with effect as of July , sets out the main objectives of gambling regulation and provides for a state monopoly on the organisation of lotteries, the licensure of sports betting including non-tote fantasy sports bets up to a maximum of 20 licences and the prohibition of online casino gaming. The Regional Council also handles online horse race betting licensing. Licences for casinos are tendered by the respective state, while an application for a licence to operate a gambling hall can be made at any time. Regulatory enforcement usually is initiated on a state-by-state basis by the respective gambling supervisory authorities mostly the Ministries of the Interior in the respective state in charge, but the German states are authorised instruct one state to act on behalf of multiple states as per the Interstate Treaty. A new licensing process was announced at the time of writing.