Germany approves online gambling
The heads of Germany’s 16 states have recently approved the proposed legalisation of online casino games and online poker from July 1, 2021.
Casino News Daily reports that at the start of 2020, Germany implemented an experimental sports betting regulatory regime outlined in the country’s Third State Treaty on Gambling.
Under the gambling law that will remain in effect until June 30, 2021, international companies that want to operate in Germany must obtain licences from the competent licensing body – the Darmstadt Regional Council of the state of Hesse.
Such companies can only conduct online sports betting activities.
Online casino and poker products are prohibited under the Third State Treaty on Gambling.
The recently approved gambling law that will take effect from July 1, 2021 expands regulated online gambling services to casino and poker and beyond sports betting for the very first time since German lawmakers first launched their effort to introduce regulated online gambling.
While Germany’s iGaming market is set to be expanded, it should be noted that when it happens, operators conducting regulated wagering and gaming activities will be subjected to heavy limitations.
Limits on sports betting
According to sources, sports betting would be limited to wagering on the final result of a sporting event.
That is to say, in play sports betting would be not permitted.
Regulated online slots would be subject o a 1 euro per spin stake limit.
In addition, they would be banned from featuring an autoplay function as well as jackpots.
Under the new online gambling law, the individual states would be able to decide whether to prohibit table games and could also give state lotteries exclusive rights over this particular product.
Other restrictions made include a mandatory 1000 euro deposit limit across all iGaming operators.
That provision is currently in force under the Third State Treaty on Gambling.
Licenced gambling operators would not be able to advertise their offering on television between 6 and 9am.
Vaunet, Germany’s association of private broadcasters, spoke against that provision, saying that it would impact the regulated sector’s efforts to channel players from the black market and reduce advertising revenue for those broadcasters.
The Darmstadt Regional Council said last month that it has received 30 licence applications from companies interested to provide sports betting services under the Third State Treaty on Gambling.
Another 20 are expected to submit their applications.
The heads of Germany’s 16 16 states also decided during their recent meeting in Berlin on the location of the country’s new gambling regulator when the new law takes effect next year.
The new regulatory body will be based in the state of Sacshen-Anhalt.
Many deemed the announcement about the location of the new regulator a bit surprising, particularly given the fact that states such as Schleswig-Holstein and Hesse, which is currently tasked with issuing the sports betting licences, have previously expressed interest in hosting the regulatory agency.
Germany’s new gambling law now needs to be ratified by all of the 16 states and then be submitted to the European Commission for review and approval.
Macau’s gaming tables are back in operation
Nearly half of Macau’s gaming tables are back in operation.
Macau casinos had been allowed as of Monday to restart operation of an aggregate of 3100 gaming tables, representing about 46 per cent of the existing gaming tables in the market.
GGR Asia reported in March that the information was disclosed in a Monday press release by the city’s casino regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, known as DICJ.
Currently, there is an aggregate of 6754 gaming tables in Macau casinos.
A total of 38 of the city’s 39 active casinos had resumed operations as of Monday, said the DICJ.
Currently, only the Casino Macau Jockey Club in Taipa, located in the Macau Roosevelt Hotel is yet to restart operations.
The gaming venue is under the licence of SJM Holdings.
Macau casinos shuttered for 15 days to contain the spread locally of the Covid-19 disease linked to a novel coronavirus that has now spread globally, started to reopen on February 20, offering at the time about 1800 gaming tables.
This represented below 30 per cent of the existing inventory in the market.
The government gave operators the option however of applying for a grace period of up to 30 days before relaunch.
Resumption of gaming was however conditional on operators taking special precautions at the request of DICJ, in terms of density of seating for customers at gaming tables and ensuring there was a certain minimum space between tables in use.