Germany gambling license

Publication date: 06 Mar 2023

Gambling license in Germany – what does it mean? How can one obtain the gambling license?

germany gambling license

Germany: gambling license requirements

The Interstate Treaty on Gambling will have become fully operational in Germany by the end of July, 2021. Licensing of various gambling activities (virtual slot machines, online sports betting, and online poker) in all 16 states will be available without any restrictions.

The ITG provides for a list of illegal actions and violations, for which the operator can be fined up to 500,000 euros.

General terms to obtain the gambling license in Germany

Security deposit: to obtain a gambling license, the applicant must provide a security deposit of at least 5 million euros. In some cases, this amount can be increased to the amount of the expected average monthly turnover (maximum 50 million euros).

Diversification of offers: gambling providers may offer different forms, such as sports betting, virtual slot machines, and online poker through the same internet domain. Operators should create graphically independent and separate E-squares for each form of gambling.

Cross-advertising between different forms of gambling is also prohibited.

Official parties and providers ensure safety of players by stipulating the following:

  • Upon registration on the site, players have to set a monthly deposit limit of no more than 1000 euros (that is, as a rule, 1000 euros / per month/one player for all operators).
  • An official competent body will monitor compliance with the limit through a central “limit control file”. Providers must pay for the connection and use of this file;
  • Providers must offer the individual (associated with the provider) Deposit limits which can be set voluntarily;
  • Restrictions are imposed on parallel playing: players cannot use offers of different operators at the same time, betting on several sites at once. Thus, providers must check their activation status. Providers install a special activation system in order to recommend (allow) the players to enter a game or not;
  • E-operators should track the time that customers spend gambling. Operators display a warning banner in 60 minutes. To carry on playing one should affirm seeing it. Dealing with virtual slot machines, a 5-minute cooling off period is obligatory.
  • Only one game account per operator is legal. Operators save personal data (name, birth, place of residence). Operators ought to verify the accuracy and regularly request confirmation.  As soon as personal details are proved, one can use their account and bet. Every year the verification proceeds once and again. Otherwise E-gambling   is prohibited.

 Advertising restrictions:

  •         advertising mustn`t not target at the minors;
  •         advertising should not present gambling or sports betting as a means to eliminate financial problems;
  •         from 6.00 to 21.00 broadcasting and online advertising is banned;
  •         some types of gambling, advertised at the expense of others, is also banned.

 Gamble license in Germany. Terms and definitions. Sports betting, virtual slot machines, online poker

  •  Sports betting

 Sporting event is being basically defined as follows: this is a sports competition between people according to certain rules. E-sport has been included in this category.

Sports betting is understood as particular practice or an activity, that allows to bet on a future sporting event or to make a bet during an event. Normally, players bet on the outcome of a sports event or on the outcome of individual parts of it. According to Section 21 I ITG 2021, single and combined bets are allowed. Operators are allowed to take bets only officially, offer only those types of bets that were licensed.

Live bets – bets during an event. The number of live bets is limited. Bets can only be taken on the final result or the next goal, the next set, or a similar component of the final result in the sport. 

  • Prohibited types of betting

Prohibited types of  bets include bets on sports events involving minors and amateur sports. National or international events excluded.

Betting on manipulation, compromise, irregular behavior (as foul), and penalty for such behavior (e.g. a red card) is forbidden. As well as betting on any other action or occurrence able to ruin integrity of the event.

  • Virtual slot machines

ITG 2021 stipulates official provisions for licensing and operational order of virtual slot machines.

Virtual slot machines – on-line alternatives (copies) of land-based slot machines.

Slot machine betting is rigid: 1 euro per game; a minimum average game duration of 5 seconds. Operators cannot offer jackpots. Cash prizes or smaller parts of the money won – can`t be accumulated for future betting. Bets and payouts are to be in euros only; no conversion is allowed.

  • ITG 2021 stipulates official provisions for the on-line poker licensing.

On-line poker – a poker game without a pot holder, in which people (individuals) play against each other at a virtual table. This type is subject to licensing.

Games against the computer cannot be licensed and remain prohibited.

On-line Casino Licensing in Germany

According to ITG 2021 online casino licensing doesn`t apply to all 16 states.

An online casino – is defined as:

  1.   an on-line game with a bank holder;
  2.   a live broadcast of a land-based game (from an offline casino) with a possibility of participation via the Internet.

The federal state can choose one of the options to arrange legal gambling within its area and make it available through:

  • A state operator;
  • A licensed private operator.

The number of licenses that can be granted to private operators is limited by the number of land-based casinos. In most states of Germany, there is only one off-line casino.

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