New Online Gambling Regulation in Germany to be Enforced Starting July 2021

Back in March, the federal states of Germany decided to agree on the new German Interstate Treaty on Gambling. Also known as ISTG 2021, the regulation will go into effect in July 2021. The legislation needs to be ratified by individual federal state parliaments before it will apply.

The Interstate Treaty on Gambling as it stands now will expire on June 30 of next year. The process of seeing a new treaty agreed upon has taken some time. It seemed as though the federal states would not be able to reach an agreement that everyone approved.

In the past, disagreements between federal states stemmed from some states believing that the market should be liberalized and some did not. Some states wanted to see online casino and poker gaming licensed while others wanted the ban of such gaming options to continue.

The ISTG 2021 is a compromise between the states. It provides licensing for almost all forms of online gambling, the conditions to obtain licensing is more difficult. The conditions go beyond the requirements that are currently in place for sports betting licensing.

The most significant change to the Treaty when it comes into effect next year is that the ban of online poker games and slots will be lifted. The new law requires operators to meet separate laws of the individual federal states.

Such stipulations include providing a security deposit of 5 million euros or more. Operators must also have independent and graphically separate areas for each form of gambling. With the separation requirement, operators cannot cross-advertise.

There are many more stipulations and requirements of operators that will make it more difficult for licensing to be obtained, but not impossible.

It will be interesting to see how the industry changes and who applies for licensing once the treaty is in full force in Germany.

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