German Lawmakers Give Green Light for Online Gambling

Written By Ivan P

Online gambling has long been a kind of grey area in Germany. Although many online casinos and betting sites continue to cater to players from Germany, only one federal state actually has the proper iGaming legislative. In the rest of the country, gambling on the internet is not really a desirable activity and the state has created a number of measures to remove unlicensed sites from the market.

It seems this situation is finally about to change. Heads of all 16 states have come together and gave a green light for the legalization of online gambling. If things proceed as planned, German players should be able to enjoy their favorite games in a safe and regulated environment in July of 2021.

This changed was announced earlier, with the introduction of the Third State Treaty on Gambling. This particular regulation was aimed at sports betting site and it will remain until June 2021, during which time those operators wanting to continue to conduct their business in Germany will need to obtain appropriate licenses.

The new proposal takes things to the next level, though, as it encompasses all sorts of online gambling and online poker activities. The next step in this process is for the Parliament of each individual state to pass the law. Afterwards, the document will be sent out to the European Commission to be verified and, once it is approved, it will be implemented across the country.

Important Development for iGaming Industry in Europe

It goes without saying that the new online gambling law in Germany is a huge development for the overall iGaming market in Europe. Germany is a huge market and many major operators will likely be looking for their piece of the pie in a newly regulate environment.

Major players in the industry have been reluctant to have dealings in Germany as the country’s stance was largely against online gambling. However, once everything is put into a legal framework, it’s fully to be expected that iGaming operators will be applying for licenses and looking to grab a share of the market as soon as possible.

Of course, this is major news for German players and fans of casino gambling as well. Once the new law is in full force, they’ll no longer have to look for offshore operators willing to take their action. Instead, they’ll be able to play in a safe and regulated environment and without any additional complications with regards to deposits, withdrawals, and similar.

Strict Rules in the Works

Although the new German law on online gambling is generally a positive development, there are certain stipulations in the rules that not all betting and gaming sites will be thrilled about. The country is clearly of the mind to put operators on a fairly short leash so the market may not be as attractive to everyone.

When it comes to sports betting, for example, punters will have very limited options. They’ll only be able to bet on the final outcome of a game. This is clearly a big hit for major betting operators that make a bulk of their profits from various markets and via in-play betting. As things stand now, none of that will be available in Germany.

Online casinos will have to deal with severe restrictions as well. The maximum bet per spin on slot machines will be set at €1, which will clearly influence the operators’ bottom line. The maximum bet limitation is an idea that some other countries are toying with as will but Germany seems to be the first one to introduce this measure.

Likewise, operators will have to remove the auto-play feature from the slots, which is bound to make the play slower and will likely lead to fewer spins played per individual sessions. Finally, players from Germany won’t be able to access any of the progressive jackpot slots.

In terms of deposits, players will only be allowed to deposit €1,000 across platforms. It’s still unclear how this particular measure will be implemented and what will be the time period for the limits (daily, weekly, monthly).

So, overall, while Germany is finally ready to open itself to online gambling, they’re approaching the subject with quite a few reservations. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise in the time where more and more countries are looking to introduce better control measures and deal with gambling addiction problems in a more serious manner. It is possible the new law will still undergo certain changes and amendments before it is finalized but players and operators at least have a rough idea of what’s coming.