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Germany’s regulated betting and iGaming market opens

1st July 2021 8:28 am GMT

Germany’s regulated sports betting and online gaming market opens today, with all attention now turning to combating unlicensed operators in the market.

The new State Treaty on Gambling comes into force today following a transitional regime which began in October, with the new law imposing strict restrictions on licensed operators.

These include limited availability of in-play sports betting, a strict limit on online slot spending, prohibition of online casino table games such as roulette and blackjack, as well as a 5.3 per cent tax on iGaming stakes.

These restrictions are expected to limit the appeal of the regulated market to players, who may choose to seek out unlicensed online operators with a broader product offering and higher payouts.

Today’s opening of the regulated market was welcomed by the German Sports Betting Association (DSWV), which called on the authorities to “severely sanction those who continue to operate without a license”.

“A market in which some unlicensed companies continue to operate undisturbed damages the political goals of the states and must be prevented by all means. Here we demand more activity from the state supervisory authorities,” said DSWV president Mathias Dahms.

“Today Germany is finally taking the step that the rest of the European Union took a long time ago. However, the State Treaty on Gambling must be further developed in order to eliminate the problems that still exist: the artificially limited product selection, cross-provider limits and the excessive taxation must be corrected,” he said.

“Gambling is part of the modern digital entertainment world. Sports betting is fun and popular with people. The focus must be on consumer protection,” Dahms added. “The licensed companies have a government mandate. They and the DSWV stand for transparent and reliable gambling, they advocate consumer protection, the prevention of gambling addiction and the protection of minors. The German Sports Betting Association is fully behind the goals of the new State Treaty.”

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