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Games of chance

State Treaty on the re-regulation of gaming in Germany

(State Treaty on Gaming 2021 [Glücksspielstaatsvertrag 2021 - GlüStV 2021])

The applicable State Treaty on Gaming in the form of the Third Amending State Treaty on Gaming which came into force on 1 January 2020 (Notification No 2019/187/D) expires on 30 June 2021. As a follow-up regulationfor the period from 1 July 2021, the German states have agreed on a draft State Treaty on Gaming for 2021.

The draft further develops the content of gaming regulations in Germany, whereby the previous objectives of the State Treaty on Gaming (§ 1) remain unchanged, while at the same time enabling private providers, under strict conditions, to offer certain other online games of chance that were previously prohibited in Germany in order to offer players a legal, safe alternative to the games offered on the black market. In order to achieve these objectives, differentiated measures are provided for, which in some areas differ from the measures of the
State Treaty on Gaming applicable until 30 June 2021:
- The reservation of granting permits for the organisation and brokerage of public games of chance in Germany is maintained (§ 4(1)).
- Permits are not limited in number and can in future also be granted for content-limited offers of online slot machines and online poker (§ 4(4), § 22a and § 22b). The same continues to apply to the organisation and brokerage of sports betting (§ 4(4) and § 21).
- The German federal states may each permit online casino games (banking games/table games on the Internet) in their territory, whereby the number of organisers is limited (§ 22c).
- The permits are issued under strict conditions that serve to protect the players (e.g. § 6a to 6j for games of chance on the Internet). Among other aspects, there is a provider-related registration obligation for games of chance on the Internet (§ 6a) and a deposit limit for games of chance on the Internet to be set by the player, which is in principle no more than EUR 1,000 and is applicable across all providers (§ 6c).
- A state monopoly on sports betting is no longer provided for. The state monopoly on lottery events (§ 10) as well as the regulation of horse betting (§ 27), stationary arcades (§ 24 to 26) and casinos (§ 20) will essentially be maintained.
- Improved legal bases, including a central responsibility for action against illegal games of chance on the Internet, are created (§§ 9, 9a).
- A central gaming authority is created, primarily for essential parts of games of chance on the Internet (§§ 27a et seq.).
- For all forms of games, a comprehensive system for blocking players is created with few exceptions, which excludes blocked players from participating in games of chance (§§ 8-8d). In order to verify compliance with the limit applicable across all providers, the payments made by players to providers are to be recorded in a central authority file (limit file) until the end of the respective current calendar month (§ 6c). In order to prevent simultaneous games of chance with several providers and thus the possible circumvention of regulatory requirements, players should only be able to actively play if the provider has previously actively switched the player to another central authority file (§ 6h). A player can only be active with one provider at any given time.
- The State Treaty should be evaluated regularly (§ 32) in order to be able to monitor the effectiveness of the regulation and make any necessary adjustments.