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Gambling law in Germany – an update

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A certain interpretation of German law could classify the act of placing a bet online as illegal, but the authorities appear to have no interest in reading or enforcing the law. All operators who earned licenses are able to provide real money casino games and poker to players inside the state of Schleswig-Holstein until 2018. Click to Play!

Europe's online gambling scene saw a number of important changes last year. More EU countries officially regulated their iGaming markets (the Czech Republic, Poland), while other countries acknowledged the importance of the introduction of proper regulations (Sweden) in relation to the provision of this ... Click to Play!

III. Outlook on Gambling Regulation in Germany for 2018. 1. Proposed Interstate Treaty on Gambling. The Ince decision was followed by a wave of national court decisions confirming the licensing process' incompatibility with European law. German authorities experienced difficulties in issuing injunctions ... Click to Play!

The Interstate Treaty subjects any activity falling under the definition of a "game of chance" to German gambling regulations. A "game of... However, the Amendment Treaty did not enter into force on 1 January 2018 as originally planned since three of the German states, the Schleswig Holstein, North Rhine ... Click to Play!

Online gambling - Wikipedia

Despite the fact that a new treaty designed to look at refreshed regulation for Germanys online gambling industry, the countrys sector remains complex.
The CJEU ruling also could prove to be good news for online poker players living in countries with restrictive gaming laws, such as Sweden. According to Poker Industry Pro, the Swedish gaming regulator granted the state gaming monopoly Svenska Spel a three-year license extension expiring in 2018, the ...


Gambling law in Germany – an update

Even though many private providers will welcome the more liberal sports betting licensing procedure, the debate regarding the lawfulness of German gambling law is not likely to stop in 2018. The European Commission already criticised the new law, highlighting the fact that the growing online casino and poker market will ...
This is because there are two different and opposing legal regimes in force at the same time: the operators that received a Schleswig Holstein gambling licence can continue to benefit from their liberal conditions which remain valid until 2018, while all other operators are subject to the much stricter regime of the ISTG.
With ICE Gaming 2018 happening next month, let's examine some of the online gaming laws around Europe and how they are evolving.. Germany regulates gaming on a state level, but there is an Interstate Treaty on Gambling, which most — but not all — states agreed to, but there's an amendment to the.
Online Gambling is one of the biggest sources of entertainment for people worldwide including Germany. While it is illegal to host a German casino, it is unclear what the laws are regarding placing bets online. While some might say the laws clearly indicated online gambling is illegal, the authorities seem to ...

Gambling law in Germany – an update

german gambling law 2018
This includes the sports betting sector, for example, where the state of Hesse was empowered to act on behalf of all 16 German states. Under the Second Treaty Amending the Interstate Treaty on Gambling (the Amendment Treaty), which is due to enter into force on 1 January 2018, this responsibility is to be assumed by the ...
Jump to Online Gambling Laws and Regulations in Germany - If you were wondering is online gambling allowed in Germany, here is the bad news. According to the German online gambling laws stated in the Interstate Treaty on Online Gambling, all kinds of online gambling are considered illegal.

german gambling law 2018 In Germany, gambling law is traditionally considered to be part of the law of public order and is therefore regulated at state level, i.
Generally, gambling is therefore a matter of state law and executed by the respective authorities in each of the 16 German federal states.
As an example, land-based casinos in many states are licensed and supervised by the respective Ministries of the Interior, whereas slot machine gambling in local gaming halls is supervised by the municipal offices.
Among the competent bodies — as per the current Interstate Treaty — are the Hessian Ministry of the Interior and Sports responsible for issuing the sports betting licencesthe authorities of North Rhine Westphalia responsible for granting permissions to operators of lotteries and sports betting for advertising on TV and on the internet and the authorities of Lower Saxony responsible for payment blocking against unlawful gambling on the internet.
Licences for online gambling and sports betting issued under the Gaming Act of Schleswig-Holstein are supervised by the Ministry of the Interior in Schleswig-Holstein.
Other states have been assigned to regulate specific types of lotteries, e.
Games of chance are defined as games where payment of consideration is required in order to acquire a chance to win and the determination of winnings is entirely or predominantly a matter of chance.
Any gambling activity falling within this definition is subject to specific click at this page legislation.
The Interstate Treaty, originally concluded by the federal states with effect as of July 2012, sets out the main objectives of gambling regulation and provides for a state monopoly on the organisation of lotteries, the licensure of sports betting including non-tote fantasy sports bets up to a maximum of 20 licences and the prohibition of online casino gaming.
The Interstate Treaty is implemented by specific state legislation; in particular, the Gaming Acts of the individual states.
Between January 2012 and February 2013, the state of Schleswig-Holstein pursued its own gambling regulation.
The Gaming Act of Schleswig-Holstein, contrary to the Interstate Treaty, allowed for the issuance of licences for private sports betting and online casino operators.
Due to a change in government, Schleswig-Holstein, however, ultimately acceded to the Interstate Treaty.
The Casino Acts usually distinguish between table games e.
Although subject to controversy, the majority of German courts http://bitcoin-casinos.top/2018/snooker-the-masters-2018-wiki.html so far regarded poker as a game of chance and not a game of skill.
Therefore, poker is only permitted in state-owned casinos and may not be offered online.
The latter does not apply to online casino licensees of Schleswig-Holstein.
The Trade Regulation Act and the Gaming Ordinance provide the framework regulation and set out the requirements applicable to AWPs; the Interstate Treaty and gaming legislation of the individual states include further restrictions to gaming hall premises such as minimum distance requirements to be maintained between such premises.
The Race Betting and Lottery Act contains provisions on the organisation of bets on horses and taxation rules for lotteries and sports betting in general.
The German Criminal Code prohibits the organisation or advertising of games of chance without an official permit.
Social games — if understood as play-for-free games — generally do not fall under the definition of games of chance and hence lack specific regulation.
They may be operated german gambling law 2018 a licence, yet restrictions german gambling law 2018 apply resulting from general consumer or minor protection laws.
Prize competitions and draws, i.
Generally, the provisions on lotteries apply.
It will depend on the gambling product if licensure is possible.
By product, the following licences are generally available to private operators: Casino gaming including poker : Licence for the operation of land-based casinos yet the majority of casinos are state-operated.
Sports betting: Licence for the operation and brokerage of online sports betting, and for land-based sports betting in betting shops.
Horse race betting: Bookmaker licence under the German gambling law 2018 Betting and Lottery Act, as well as online horse betting licence pursuant to sec.
Slot machine gaming: Licence for land-based slot machine gaming AWPs in gaming halls or restaurants and bars.
Lotteries: Licence for the brokering and sale of traditional state lottery products land-based and online ; licence for the operation of small or charitable lotteries which have their draw results published less than twice a week, have a top prize worth less than EUR 2 million and do not have a scheduled jackpot.
The operation of traditional lottery products, such as the national lottery or other large-scale lotteries, as well as pool-betting, is subject to the state monopoly.
Private operators may not apply for such licences.
They may only apply for a licence allowing brokerage of the state lottery products.
The former regulation in Schleswig-Holstein further enabled private operators to obtain licences for online casino gaming, with the exception of bank-holder games such as blackjack, baccarat and roulette.
In total, 23 such licences were issued.
The Gaming Act of Schleswig-Holstein continues to apply in relation to these licensees.
Are personal and premises licences needed?
Do key suppliers need authorisation?
The German system only distinguishes between the operation and brokerage of gaming activities.
Therefore, only operators or brokers need to apply for licences but not B2B suppliers.
Key suppliers do not need any specific form of authorisation.
However, the gaming machines or software supplied needs to comply with certain standards and regulations, such as the ISO27001 series in case of core elements of gambling software.
Sometimes additional premises licences are required for land-based gambling activities such as the operation of gaming halls.
Gambling halls, for example, need to fulfil certain requirements regarding size and layout.
The Interstate Treaty restricts the application of the licence to the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany and countries that recognise the German permit for their sovereign territories.
There is no general process of applying for a gambling licence because the process very much depends on which kind of licence an operator applies for.
Any application process will, however, set out certain requirements that the applicant or the business corporation needs to fulfil in order to qualify for a licence.
Applicants will also need to demonstrate that they are willing to provide safe and transparent services and wish to comply with the gaming regulation.
Comparing the Casino Acts of the individual states, licences for the operation of land-based casinos usually have a licence term of about 15 years.
Licences issued under the Gaming Act of Schleswig-Holstein last for at least six years, possibly 10 years, but likely will be positively affected by the recent developments in Schleswig-Holstein which suggest that a new licensing regime might be introduced in the foreseeable future.
Sports betting licences, once issued pursuant to the Interstate Treaty, are supposed to be valid until the seven-year experimental period ends.
welsh national chepstow 2018 runners developments in Schleswig-Holstein, which could have a wider impact on multiple German states and the entire discussion of German regulation, will likely be of relevance and determine new time limits for future licences.
Any licence may be revoked if an operator fails to comply with the licence conditions.
Licences, however, will not be revoked immediately and without prior notice.
Operators will usually be contacted by the regulators and will be given a chance to comment on and review the alleged violations of the licence conditions and to resolve the issues within a certain time frame.
Under administrative law, the requirements for nullification are extremely high.
We are not aware of a case where nullification has occurred.
Please include in this answer the material promotion and advertising restrictions.
Casino gaming including poker : Some federal states limit the number of tables and slots allowed in casinos.
Barred players may not enter the gaming area or play in casinos.
Strict entrance controls need to be established in order to ensure that this is the case.
These controls include matching the players with a nationwide player-barring database.
Sports betting: Fantasy betting is allowed, whereas bets on anything other than sports are prohibited, e.
Such bets may therefore not be offered.
Regarding in-play betting, the situation is unclear.
The Interstate Treaty prohibits some forms of in-play betting, but fails to provide a definition of these prohibited in-play bets.
Also, the competent authority, the Hessian Ministry of the Interior, has so far not provided any clear guidance as to what exactly it considers prohibited in-play betting.
Further, only 20 sports betting licences are to be granted and land-based sports betting is only allowed in a restricted number of betting shops.
The number of permissible land-based betting shops varies quite considerably between the states, e.
Saxony-Anhalt only allows for three betting shops per licensee, whereas Lower Saxony allows for a total of 2,400 betting shops.
Horse race betting: Operators of horse race betting have to comply with certain stake limitations, e.
Slot machine gaming: Other than slot machine gaming in casinos, slot machine gaming offered on other premises, such as gaming halls, restaurants or bars is subject to multiple restrictions.
Lotteries including tote : Lotteries may not be operated by private operators.
They are subject to the state monopoly, i.
Material promotion and advertising restrictions in relation to the above: Advertising of games of chance is subject to a very restrictive regime in Germany and is affected by an abundance of laws and regulations, including the Interstate Treaty, the Gaming Acts of the individual states, the Advertising Guidelines, the Luxury getaway of Practice of the German Advertising Council, the Act Against Unfair Competition and specific minor protection legislation, such as, e.
Operators will typically be required to submit a marketing concept as part of their licence application, which sets out how they intend to advertise their products whilst sufficiently ensuring player protection at the same time.
Often, in particular, in the land-based casino sector, the licences issued will specify further advertising restrictions.
Any advertising of unauthorised games of chance, misleading advertising learn more here advertising directed at minors or other risk groups is prohibited, as is most online and TV advertising.
Exceptions to the prohibition on online and TV advertising apply in relation to sports betting, horse race betting and lotteries where operators can apply for specific advertising permits.
However, since no sports betting licences have been issued so far and the constitutionality of the Advertising Guidelines has been called into question, these are of limited practical relevance.
A characteristic of the taxation of gambling products is that it largely depends on the product type and the regulations in the respective federal state.
Accordingly, tax rates vary considerably throughout Germany.
Land-based casino operators are exempt from corporate taxation but must generally pay taxes on gross gaming revenue i.
Tax rates range between 20% and 80% per state.
Some states impose additional levies or apply progressive tax rates depending on the economic capability of the casino operator.
Throughout Germany, any operator offering licensed or unlicensed sports or horse race betting is subject to a 5% federal tax on stakes.
In addition to regular corporate taxes, slot machine operators have to pay municipal amusement tax.
Depending on the law of the respective municipality, slot machine operators are subject to a 12%—20% amusement tax which is based on the gross income generated from the slot machines.
Since 1 January 2015, all online casino operators, not only the non-EU-based online casino operators, have been subject to VAT.
It was recently confirmed by the Federal Ministry of Finance that GGR and not stakes is the tax base for German VAT on online casino revenues.
A significant fiscal risk for online casino operations in Germany you best casual dining las vegas 2018 recollect thereby removed.
Some of the main objectives of the Interstate Treaty are the prevention of addiction and criminal acts, channelling the market away from the black market and to ensure the integrity of sports.
Starting with the qualification and reliability of the operators being prerequisites for acquiring a licence, there are many other requirements linked http://bitcoin-casinos.top/2018/tour-de-france-2018-betting-preview.html social responsibility.
In essence, these concern the protection of players and minors and the safety of the gambling operations.
Safety, in this context, especially means safe payment and transaction methods, adhering to youth, customer and data protection laws, keeping AML and IT standards and being reliable in paying taxes and levies.
Operators need to be familiar with the impact of games of chance and the inherent risk of addiction and show this in their social concepts.
They have to train their staff on detecting problematic players and gambling behaviour and on the responsible operation, execution and commercial brokerage of public games of chance.
Players should be encouraged to assess their own gambling activities by reality checks and self-tests, need to be able to set their own deposit or loss limits and need to be made aware of the risk of addiction through brochures or responsible gaming websites.
Gambling operators are required to offer information on where players may seek help such as contact details of support services counselling and therapy.
Players need to be informed about self- and third-party barring and made aware of the possibility of taking gaming breaks.
Social responsibility also means ensuring that minors and barred players do not participate in gaming activities.
Does your jurisdiction permit virtual currencies to be used click at this page gambling and are they separately regulated?
German regulators have made it very clear that they intend to apply the standards and requirements regarding AML to online gaming operators if these target German customers.
Consequently, online gaming operators serving German customers are advised to adopt appropriate and extensive risk management systems and to familiarise themselves with the extensive requirements, e.
As expected in the course of the implementation of the 4AMLD, AML obligations have also been extended to more land-based operations which primarily affect sport betting retail outlets.
Before the new AML Act entered into force, only land-based casinos were subject to certain AML obligations if transactions exceed a threshold of EUR 2,000.
Taxation will play a role in the assessment of whether the incorporation of virtual currencies makes sense from an economic perspective.
Bitcoins act as a good example.
The written law of the Interstate Treaty generally prohibits the operation and brokerage of online games of chance.
The only exceptions provided by the Interstate Treaty in this context regard sports apologise, aktia prime korko 2018 are, horse race betting and lotteries.
Yet, the licensing process for these sports betting licences, which was initiated in 2012, failed and has been held to be incompatible with EU law.
The 20 licences provided for by the Interstate Treaty, as a result, cannot be issued lawfully under the current legal framework.
The German states have therefore entered into reform discussions which resulted in the German states agreeing on the Amendment Treaty in March 2017.
The Amendment Treaty was to enter into force on 1 January 2018 following ratification in each of the 16 state parliaments.
Schleswig-Holstein — following a change in government — has now, however, on various occasions announced that it does not intend to ratify the Amendment Treaty which would make it obsolete.
Interestingly, Schleswig-Holstein seeks to introduce a viable and EU-law-compliant gambling regulation on the basis of its former Gambling Act, potentially with other German states, namely Hesse, North Rhine Westphalia and Rhineland Palatine, so interesting times lie ahead for online gambling operators in this regard.
On 26 October 2017, however, the Federal Administrative Court, i.
At the time of writing, the full written judgment has not been published yet.
According to an official press release published by the Federal Administrative Court a day after the hearing and from what is known about the hearing, however, the Federal Administrative Court confirmed the legality of the online casino ban in light of national and EU law.
It also seems to have indicated that operations of sports betting operators who did not participate in the 2012 sports betting licensing process could be unlawful and that — contrary to what had been confirmed by the CJEU in Ince and Unibet — the sports betting licensing process may have been lawfully conducted after all.
This seems legally questionable.
The operation of traditional lotteries via the internet is reserved for the state-controlled lottery operators, but private operators may engage in brokerage of lottery products via the internet, subject to a brokering licence.
Operating and brokering licences for horse race betting are available pursuant to sec.
According to the Interstate Treaty provisions, all online operators have to ensure that minors and barred players are excluded by applying identification and verification methods and that some kind of stake limit the Interstate Treaty suggests a limit of EUR 1,000 for online betting is in place.
Players must have the possibility of self-limitation and must be prohibited from taking loans from the gambling operators.
The Interstate Treaty further requires there to be no specific addiction stimuli through fast repetition, a social concept taking the online-specific circumstances into account including a scientific evaluation of the effectiveness of the social concept and demands that betting and lottery products be offered from separate internet domains and that the separate sites may not be linked to continue reading other.
The German gambling law 2018 Treaty not only prohibits the operation and brokerage of online gambling, german gambling law 2018 also advertising for games of chance on the internet.
Certain licensed operators sports betting, horse race betting, lotteries may, however, apply for individual or general permits with the Regional Government of Duesseldorf in the state North-Rhine Westphalia.
As per the Interstate Treaty, any advertising of gambling products needs to comply with the conditions set out in sec.
Machine-based gaming is only permitted in land-based casinos, restaurants, bars and gaming halls, and only subject to a licence.
Online slots are, at the moment, not permitted outside of a Schleswig-Holstein licence.
The law is governed by federal law — the Trade Regulation Act and the Gaming Ordinance.
The Gaming Ordinance allows for a maximum of three machines to be operated in restaurants and bars and a maximum of 12 machines per gaming hall.
It further imposes gaming limits maximum stakes, maximum losses, etc.
Machine gaming is also subject to the Interstate Treaty and the respective state laws.
None of the above restrictions, however, apply to machine gaming in state-owned casinos.
In general, the operator is held liable for breaches of gambling regulations.
Organising games of chance without an official licence or permit may be regarded as a criminal offence as per sec.
Criminal proceedings have, however, so far rarely been initiated.
More commonly, interdiction orders based on sec.
These usually include penalty payments of approximately EUR 10,000 to EUR 50,000 per violation.
Licence holders have to fear the revocation of their licences if they turn out to be unreliable or breach certain licence conditions, etc.
Milder forms of punishment are the suspension of the licence for three months or a reduction of the overall duration of the licence.
First and foremost, liability and enforcement are clearly subject to German law and the German authorities.
However, being part of the European Union, German law is, of course, influenced by European law and European case-law.
In recent years, German enforcement authorities, in particular German prosecutors, have been reluctant to enforce gambling law violations, one explanation for this likely being that German gambling regulation has been characterised by legal uncertainty due to it facing severe criticism in german gambling law 2018 of EU law for years now.
In relation to sports betting, the CJEU on 4 February 2016 confirmed that any enforcement action brought against sports betting operators in a situation where an unlawful de facto monopoly persists as held to be the case in Germany is incompatible with EU law cf.
It will have to be assessed whether and to which extent the recent judgment of the Federal Administrative Court which was handed down on 26 October 2017 impacts on these findings and the approach so far taken by German prosecutors.
However, due to sec.
A further exception applies due to sec.
The same arguably applies to sports betting debts from a licensed operation, once the sports betting licences will be granted.
A first attempt at such reforms lead to the German states agreeing on the Amendment Treaty, which was intended to enter into force following ratification of the Amendment Treaty in each of the 16 state parliaments.
It is possible that the Amendment Treaty could become obsolete and that the German states will have to go back to the drawing board as a result of the decisions agreed by the newly elected Schleswig-Holstein government consisting of Conservatives, Liberals and Greens, which were confirmed in a parliamentary vote in the Schleswig-Holstein parliament at the end of September 2017.
Schleswig-Holstein has, meanwhile, on multiple occasions, announced that it intends to not ratify the Amendment Treaty, to opt out of the Interstate Treaty and to, instead, potentially with other German states, german gambling law 2018 a viable and EU law-compliant sports betting and online casino regulation.
Interestingly, the also newly elected North Rhine Westphalian government has stopped all ratification efforts in relation to the Amendment Treaty for the time being to monitor the developments.
For the Amendment Treaty to enter factor 2018 britain force as planned, it would have to be ratified by all German states by the end of December 2017.
Still, German states which have been known to be reluctant to embrace change can, in the meantime, be expected to attempt stabilising the old regulation and initiating enforcement for alleged violations of Interstate Treaty restrictions.
The judgment of the Federal Administrative Court of 26 October 2017, in which the compatibility of the total ban with national and EU law seems to have been confirmed, will certainly encourage these states to continue or increase their enforcement attempts.
It is yet to be seen to which extent the judgment will also impact on other states and the developments at political level including the reform endeavours.
In light of the potential increase of risks associated with operating in the unregulated German market as a consequence of the new judgment, it will be vital for the industry to promote a broader reform of the Interstate Treaty and increase lobbying efforts.
Acknowledgment The authors would like to acknowledge a third author, Jessica Maier, LL.
Jessica Maier advises clients on all aspects of gambling law with a focus on regulation, licensing and compliance.
She has been involved in regulatory due diligence reviews in the context of corporate acquisitions and also supports clients in competition and antitrust-related issues as well as in administrative court proceedings or out-of-court negotiations and interactions.
She has provided guidance to clients in various licensing proceedings and advises clients on the regulatory developments in Germany which impact on their business.
Jessica regularly contributes to gambling law and industry publications.
She is a member of the International Association of Gaming Advisors IAGA and Global Gaming Women GGW.

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A certain interpretation of German law could classify the act of placing a bet online as illegal, but the authorities appear to have no interest in reading or enforcing the law. All operators who earned licenses are able to provide real money casino games and poker to players inside the state of Schleswig-Holstein until 2018.


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