The new State Treaty on Gambling stipulates that from July 2021 online casinos in Germany can also apply for a license for the first time. So far, such games are only legal in Schleswig-Holstein. Nevertheless, numerous companies have been offering online casino (mega888) games for real money nationwide for years – and are wooing customers.
Player not adequately protected?
In order for the new State Treaty to come into force, at least 13 state parliaments must agree. Government parties from Saarland and Saxony-Anhalt recently publicly emphasized that they did not want to approve the existing draft because player protection had not been sufficiently taken into account. There are also debates about approval in other countries.
Nevertheless, the federal states decided to implement the requirements of the state treaty by means of a transitional regulation before possible ratification and thus to actually allow the previously banned casino games on the Internet. You are following demands from the gaming industry, which publicly criticized the authorities for taking action against offers that are soon to be licensed anyway. Several states also endorsed this at an early stage, especially Hesse.
Several countries had worked out interim solutions
Apparently out of concern that the laboriously developed draft of the state treaty could fail and that uniform regulation would be endangered, the heads of the state chancelleries from Hamburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria and Berlin drew up a proposal for a transitional period in July.
Now all countries have agreed to this plan; The decision is to be published soon together with the implementation guidelines, which regulate which requirements providers must meet so that no action is taken against them.
Licenses also possible for previously illegal providers
Providers who do not adhere to these rules should not be classified as reliable in the future. They could therefore be excluded when the license is subsequently granted. The agreement acts like an amnesty for existing rule violations: Providers who have been involved in illegal gambling on the Internet for years should in the future be classified as reliable if they adhere to the new rules.
A case from Bremen also shows how intensely the last disputes about the toleration. There, the Senator for the Interior, Ulrich Mäurer, warned against such regulation in a multi-page letter at the end of July. The letter was addressed to the interior ministers of several states, including Hamburg, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Lower Saxony. According to information from NDR and SZ, Mäurer wrote that with an acquiescence, facts would be created that would later be difficult to reverse. He also warned of a lack of player protection, dangers of money laundering, and of an industry that has not adhered to state orders for years. The Interior Senator did not want to comment on this.