German national gambling regulator appoints dual leadership
Germany's new national gambling regulator, the Glücksspielbehörde, will be jointly led by Ronald Benter and Benjamin Schwanke, who were recently appointed as the regulator's two leading executives.
Previously, Benter worked for the Ministry of the Interior of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, which was the first state to have moved forward with the regulation of online gambling.
Schwanke is a former member of the EU Gambling Expert Group who previously held the position of Head of the Hamburg Gambling Authority.
“We will start operations on July 1, 2022. Initially, we will focus on preventing illegal gambling, for instance by looking at IP blocking measures and cracking down on illegal online gambling and related advertising,” said Schwanke.
The Glücksspielbehörde is not expected to be fully operational until January 1, 2023. Until then, several other states, as well as Sachsen-Anhalt's State Administration Office, will be responsible for overseeing the regulator's eventual obligations.
Sachen-Anhalt publishes whitelist of licensed gambling operators
The state has Sachsen-Anhalt has now published a whitelist of all operators that have received a license in accordance with the provisions of Germany's current State Gambling Treaty (GlüStV 2021).
At present, no providers of online casino table games, virtual slot machine games, or online poker are listed. However, operators who are in the process of applying for a license and who comply with the current Transitional Regime will not be subject to enforcement measures.
While several such application have been submitted, it is unclear to what extent the regulator has made progress on processing the applications it has received.
Start-up problems spoil Dutch online market opening
The long-awaited opening of the regulated Dutch online market on October 1 was marred by technical problems. As the Dutch national player exclusion register (CRUKS) experienced a series of malfunctions, it became impossible for new players to register and already registered players to log on with licensed operators.
These technical problems were not fully solved until the subsequent Monday, causing several newly licensed operators to delay their launch.
Of the 29 online license applications initially received by the Netherlands Gambling Authority only ten were approved prior to October 1. It is widely expected, however, that several other licensees will be announced in the next two to three weeks.
Meanwhile, several major international operators subject to country's the cooling-off period, announced that they would temporarily cease their offering in the Netherlands in accordance with the Netherlands Gambling Authority's most recent enforcement policy changes.
For some of these operators, the costs of their withdrawals are significant. Last week's Earning+More newsletter provided a helpful estimate:
Entain ~£60m in EBITDA or c.7.1% of 2020 EBITDA of £843m
Betsson ~SEK300m in EBIT or c. 27% of 2020 operating income of SEK1.13bn
Kindred ~£144m in EBITDA or c.52% of group EBITDA for 2020 of £274.2m
It remains to be seen how much of their current market share these operators can recover when (or perhaps more accurately, if) these operators receive a Dutch online license.
The following events may be of interest to the Gaming in Germany community.
The half-day event Reputation Matters: UK Gambling's Future at Stake, which takes place on 2 November in London, will take an in-depth look at the current and expected regulatory pressure facing the UK gambling industry.
SiGMA Europe has been rescheduled to 16 – 18 November, 2021.
The Betting on Sports America conference and expo has been scheduled for 30 November – 2 December, 2021 and will bring together all the major players in the fast-growing North American sports betting industry.
The World Gaming Executive Summit is returning live on 6 – 8 December, 2021 at the W Hotel, Barcelona.
ICE London and iGB Affiliate London have been scheduled to take place 1 – 3 February, 2022.
Gaming in Germany Conference announces agenda: Knowledgeable local experts you will find nowhere else!
The agenda of the upcoming Gaming in Germany Conference, which will take place October 25 in Berlin, has now been released.
This year's conference program brings together representatives from leading industry associations – the presidents of both the DSWV and DOCV will speak – as well as prominent German legal and tax specialists.
The Gaming in Germany Conference offers insights from local experts and immediate stakeholders you will find nowhere else!
For operators, there will be sessions on responsible gaming, a central topic in the regulated German market – both from a regulatory and practical, solutions-centric perspective. The Conference will also feature a session on compliance and technical solutions.
Confirmed speakers include:
Dr. Jörg Hofmann, Head of the Gaming and Betting Law Practice Group, Melchers Law Firm
Mathias Dahms, President, Deutscher Sportwettenverband (DSWV)
Dr. Dirk Quermann, President, Deutscher Online Casinoverband (DOCV)
Prof. Dr. Tilman Becker, Gambling Research Center, University of Hohenheim
Dr. Gregor Führich, Tax Consultant, FALK GmbH
Mark Dieckmann, Founder & CEO, FOZUKI
Matthew Hickey, CEO, Gordon Moody UK
Steve Schrier, Author, Build Your Sales Tribe, formerly Scientific Games and Playtech
Birgitte Sand, CEO Birgitte Sand & Associates, fmr Director Danish Gambling Authority
And many other relevant experts!
More information on the 2021 Gaming in Germany Conference is available here.
Don't miss it! Register today: https://bit.ly/2WuG3bT
Birgitte Sand, former director of the Danish Gambling Authority will be awarded the Compliance Lifetime Achievement Special Award at the 2021 Global Regulatory Awards.
Portugal's legislature has approved four bills that severely limit gambling advertising in the country.
Finland is set to introduce payment blocking and a ban on slot ads in the country's new Lottery Act.
The UK government is reportedly considering banning shirt sponsorships by betting firms.
DraftKings has made a surprise $22.4bn takeover offer for FTSE 100 operator Entain.
Scientific Games agreed to sell its sports betting division, OpenBet, to US-based media company Endeavor Group for $1.2 billion.
The UK Gambling Commission has fined EU Lotto, operator of Lottoland, £760,000 for social responsibility and anti-money laundering failures.