The heads of Germany’s 16 states late last month ratified Glücksspielstaatsvertrag 2021, the country’s new gambling law that will take effect in July 2021.
The heads of the 16 states participated in a remote meeting held on October 28-30 and chaired by Berlin. Ratification of the new gambling regulatory framework was an important step in the reorganization process of Germany’s sports betting and gaming market and is actually one of the final steps before the framework comes into force next year.
The transition period of the gambling reorganization in Germany begins with many yes and buts
State officials they passed a bill last March to pave the way for eventual ratification of the new law. The law was then submitted to the European Commission for review. European authorities did not intervene with the legislation within three months, which meant that the heads of the 16 German states could move forward with its ratification.
The recently ratified framework must now be adopted as valid state law by the courts of all 16 states so that its provisions can enter into force on July 1, 2021, the day that Germany’s new gambling regime is scheduled to go into effect.
What is legal under the new German gambling law?
Glücksspielstaatsvertrag legalizes online sports betting, online casinos and online poker, allowing interested digital gambling operators to apply for licenses from German regulators and operate in a regulated environment.
It should be noted that the country regulated its field of online sports betting last January when the so-called Third State Treaty on Gambling. The Treaty was enforced as a temporary law until July 2021, when the permanent framework will go into effect.
Casino games and online poker are prohibited by that temporary law, but German lawmakers announced in September a Tolerance policy according to which online gambling companies will not be prosecuted or penalized for offering casino and poker products to German customers before July 2021 as long as you ensure that your offer fully complies with the provisions of Glücksspielstaatsvertrag.
And for their operations to be eligible, operators had until October 15 to remove all board games from their German-oriented game lobbies, implement a limit of € 1 per spin on slot bets, a € 1,000 limit on monthly deposits and a five second interval between each spin, disable autoplay on all slots and display a panic button at all times so players can self-exclude themselves from an online casino whenever they consider it necessary, among other things.
It should also be noted that Germany last month issued the first sports betting licenses under its new regulations. So far, the relevant regulators have issued 15 gambling licenses, with GVC Holdings claiming four of them.