Changes in German law mean online gambling could become permanently legal

All 16 German states could be about to permanently legalise online casinos after years of debate and negotiations. Ministers of the respective States have united over proposals for a new online gambling framework that will see online casinos products available legally throughout the whole country.

The announcement, made earlier this month signals the end of years of prohibition and exclusion from one of Europe’s most profitable and dynamic industries. 

As of 1 January, Germany has adopted an experimental sports betting regime that will allow interested parties to apply for online gambling licenses from German regulators. They will then be able to operate in a regulated environment and the framework will remain in place until 30 June 2020. In the meantime, German lawmakers will discuss and hopefully create a permanent piece of legislation to replace the provisional laws. 

The new legislation will lift the existing ban on the provision of online casino services and sports betting will continue to be legal as it is at the moment. Both local and international casino providers will now be able to obtain licenses to offer online slots, table games, and online poker throughout the country.

Under the new rules, a gambling authority will be created to oversee the process of processing and accepting license applications for online gambling operators. While this regulator will offer the national license, each state within the country will be able to transpose and implement its own regulations and requirements for the services covered by the law.

Dirk Schrodter, Head of the Schleswig-Holstein said that this gambling legislation would pave the way for the creation of a “sufficiently attractive” gambling environment that would “ensure the channeling of gambling” away from underground and illegal markets.

It still remains to be decided how online gambling structures will be taxed as well as other rules such as how operators can advertise. One provision that has been stipulated far is that the deposit limit for players is expected to be no more than EUR 1000 per month, something that could disappoint industry stakeholders.

In the state of Darmstadt, the body given the responsibility of reviewing betting license applications has received a total of 11 applications since the beginning of January. Another seven licenses are expected to be applied for over the next few weeks.

The population of Germany is over 82 million, over 68 million of which are of an eligible age to gamble. This potentially huge, untapped market in the centre of Europe offers a wealth of business opportunities for established and startup online gambling operators or service providers. 

To find out more about online gambling licensing in the European Union, or further afield, contact Fast Offshore today. With over two decades of experience in applications, licensing, payments, tax, company formation and other corporate matters, across several continents, we are the obvious choice to help and guide you towards realising your dream.