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Newsletter - Webinar report | Regulatory update & policy principles ...and more!

Sachsen-Anhalt and Saarland ratify State Gambling Treaty

Both Sachsen-Anhalt and Saarland have now ratified Germany's new State Gambling Treaty (GlüStV 2021).

The ratification by Sachsen-Anhalt is particularly important as this state will be the proposed seat of the new national gambling regulator. Without Sachsen-Anhalt's participation, the entire treaty, as currently designed, would become impossible to implement.

Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW) is the only German state which has not yet ratified the GlüStV 2021. The state's parliament, however, is expected to grant approval before the end of this month.

Regional Court München I deals blow to hopes of online gamblers looking for reimbursement

The Regional Court München I recently found against an online gambler who sued an online operator to reclaim his losses on the grounds that the operator had provided an illegal service.

The München Court's verdict contradicts an earlier ruling by the Giessen Regional Court, but aligns with a 2016 ruling by the Duisburg Regional Court.

According to an analysis by Professor Marc Liesching of the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences, the München I and Duisburg rulings are legally on much more solid ground than the verdict by the Giessen Regional Court.

The fact that the offered services were unlawful offers insufficient reason to trump the larger principle of good faith and provisions against unfair enrichment, the München I court found.

While it appears virtually certain that, ultimately, a higher court will need to weigh in on this matter, the latest ruling will undoubtedly boost the prospects of the online operators being sued.

Upcoming events & webinars


The following events may be of interest to the Gaming in Germany community.

  • The third edition of CasinoBeats Summit will return to Malta from 13 – 15 July, 2021, as part of Summer iGaming Week organized in partnership with KPMG and Gaming Malta.

  • iGB Live and iGB Affiliate have also been moved to 28 September – 1 October, 2021, but will still take place in Amsterdam!

  • The 2021 Gaming in Holland Conference has been scheduled for 1 October, 2021 – the very day that the regulated Dutch online market finally opens. Netherlands Gambling Authority chairman René Jansen has agreed to deliver the keynote speech. Save the date!

  • 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 postponed to 1 – 3 February, 2022.

Webinars and virtual events

  • On April 29, the Spobis Special – Sportwetten und Glücksspiel virtual event will look into the expected impact of Germany's new State Gambling Treaty on Germany's sports businesses.

  • The upcoming Gaming in Holland webinar on April 29 on navigating risk and compliance with regard to politically exposed persons (PEPs) and sanctions may also be relevant for Germany-facing operators.

Gaming in Germany webinar report | Regulatory update & policy principles

On July 1, 2021, Germany's new State Gambling Treaty (GlüStV 2021) is expected to enter into force. While the scope of this treaty – in particular, the proposed player protection measures – are very ambitious, specific details are still in short supply.

In order to make sense of what we can expect, we invited three expert speakers to participate in Wednesday's Gaming in Germany webinar and to discuss the background and current status of the GlüStV 2021:

  • Prof. Dr. Tilman Becker, Managing Director of the Gambling Research Center at the University of Hohenheim

  • Dr. Jörg Hofmann, Head of the Gaming & Betting Law Practice Group at Melchers Law Firm

  • Mauro De Fabritiis, Founder of MDF Partners

Discussion highlights

During the webinar, the following notable points were raised:

  • Now that Sachsen-Anhalt, proposed seat of the new national gambling regulator, has ratified the GlüStV 2021, entry into force of the new treaty is guaranteed.

  • The databases that will be used to prevent parallel play and to monitor cross-operator deposit limits are unlikely to be ready in time. According to Prof. Becker, these national databases are simply “too ambitious” and at least several years away from being implemented.

  • Even though a director of the new national gambling regulator has now been named (whose name, however, has not yet been made public), it will be at least two to three years before the new regulator will be fully up and running. This means that between entry into force of the GlüStV 2021 on July 1 and the national regulator becoming fully operational, there will be an “enforcement gap” of 2+ years.

  • The introduction of a uniform 5.3% turnover tax on virtual slots, sports betting, and poker will be approved by the federal parliament (Bundestag) – most likely in July. However, as the included tax is factored out of the tax base, the effective tax rate will only be 5.03%, according to the following formula: (gross value * tax rate) / (gross value + tax). For instance: (€100 * 5.3) / €100 + €5.30) = 530/105.30 = 5.03%.

  • In the absence of a regulated market that is viable on its own terms, enforcement measures are unlikely to have a big impact on player channelization rates and overall market health.

Full webinar overview

The webinar was recorded and is available in its entirety here.

During the webinar, our panelists specifically addressed the following questions:

1. 3:02: What is the current situation regarding the GlüStV 2021? (Dr Jörg Hofmann)

2. 7:32: What are the strengths and weaknesses of the GlüStV 2021? (Prof. Dr. Tilman Becker)

3. 14:28: What will the transition to the new situation look like for operators of sports betting and virtual slots services? (Dr Jörg Hofmann)

4. 21:18: How will gambling services be taxed in the future? (Dr Jörg Hofmann)

5. 25:26: What are the most important responsible gaming measures under the GlüStV 2021? (Prof. Dr. Tilman Becker)

6. 33:09: How does the German regulatory framework compare to the regulations of other jurisdictions? (Mauro De Fabritiis)

7. 41:11: Under what conditions can licensed operators be successful in the regulated German market? (Mauro De Fabritiis)

8. 49:49: Can regulatory enforcement against black market operators contribute significantly to the viability of the future regulated German market? (Panel)

9. 55:38: Audience Q&A

Other news

Pragmatic Solutions has secured a landmark deal to power a new online casino in Germany for land-based casino operator Kling Automaten.

Novomatic subsidiary Greentube has signed a deal to provide its Novoline slot machine games to Pariplay's Fusion platform.

The Dutch gambling regulator announced on Monday that it had received 28 remote gambling license applications.

Swedish online trade association BOS has argued many recommendations in the country’s

Gambling Market Inquiry puts verticals with the lowest channelization rates at further risk of losing out to unlicensed operators.

Evolution Gaming Group has entered into an agreement to acquire Big Time Gaming Pty Ltd for a total consideration of up to €450m, payable in cash and Evolution shares.

The spring 2021 issue of the IMGL Magazine has now been published.


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