Germany is currently in the process of welcoming new gambling regulations. The 2021 Interstate Gambling Treaty is scheduled to go live in July and promises to solve numerous problems currently plaguing the legislation. This means the German iGaming industry is headed towards a massive change by the end of the year. And most of the new rules will be aimed at legalizing online casinos and poker.
Although the amended IGT is expected to boost the online gambling industry, the laws won’t create a free-for-all market. We need to delve deeper into the new regulations to understand what’s legal and what’s not once the upcoming legislation is officially introduced.
What’s New in the 2021 Interstate Gambling Treaty?
While the highlight of the amended regulation is the legalization of online poker and casino games, the government is also focusing on addressing the safety concerns associated with online gambling. Strict rules regarding advertising and promotions have been framed. Let’s quickly analyse what’s new.
- Restrictions on Advertising – While online casinos are allowed to promote their services, there are certain limitations in place. For starters, the ad campaigns cannot be explicitly targeted towards minors. Brands cannot promote gambling as a primary source of income. Moreover, broadcasters cannot run gambling promotions between 6 am and 9 pm. A certain section of the broadcasting fraternity is against the last decision, as they believe the ban will adversely affect their revenue.
- Sports Betting – Online sportsbooks are allowed to accept wagers on the outcome as well as in-play events. While live betting is allowed, the details are yet to be explained. Experts believe live betting will have an adverse effect in the long run. Although, the government is yet to address these concerns.
- Video Slots – Slot machines must spin for at least 5 seconds while the minimum bet has been capped at EUR 1 per spin. Punters are only allowed to deposit EUR 1,000 across the domain per month. Although, there are no restrictions on bonuses and the jackpot.
- Account Verification – Casinos are responsible for verifying the credentials of every player before allowing them to access the website. Operators must share the details with a central database to ensure that all systems run flawlessly.
What’s the Current State of Gambling in Germany?
With the absence of a central guideline on online gambling, the industry is unregulated with operators functioning from a grey area. Most online casinos in Germany today are licensed in the UK or Malta. German punters can sign up for gambling services hosted within the European Union without repercussion, although it’s still illegal under German law.
The authorities, however, are yet to penalize players for signing up on unregulated online casinos. This means Germany loses the bulk of tax revenue every year to illegal gambling. The IGT plans to solve this problem by taxing the operators. While German players won’t be taxed on the winnings.
For Germany to prohibit offshore platforms from operating on their soil, they would need to attract punters by offering them higher bonuses than what other casinos in the EU currently offer. However, that is a longshot considering the current situation and the data backs up this theory.
For example, while the UK and Demark enjoy the patronage of over 90% of local gamblers, the figures are a measly 2% for Germany. However, the German iGaming market is projected to benefit from the amended IGT, with experts predicting the annual revenue to breach the EUR 3.3 billion mark by the end of 2024.