A recent development in Germany has further debunked the myth that online gambling is not a legal business; for it is becoming more and more legal in both geographical coverage and form as the days go by. On 1st July 2021, it was reported that Germany enforced the New State Treaty on Gambling known as “Der Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsverag” (GlüNeuRStV) in German.
Following GlüNeuRStV, the European country’s nationwide iGaming offerings have been expanded beyond online betting to online casino games. This is the fourth State Treaty on Gambling in Das Land der Dichter und Denker – ‘the country of poets and thinkers’ – Germany.
The enforcement of Germany’s New State Treaty on Gambling has legalized slots and online poker for players who are eligible to participate in such gambling activities. It has also established a new federal regime for the country where the betting legislation had previously been left to local national parliaments. Now that all the states in the country are required to comply with the terms of GlüNeuRStV before 31 December 2028, its impact on online betting and gambling in Germany will be significant and long-lasting.
GlüNeuRStV – the New State Treaty on Gambling in Germany – was in the making for years and was only formally ratified in April by the final consent of legislation in the North Rhine-Westphalian State. It was reported that this legislation forces all approved iGaming companies to implement a large variety of ‘player safety measures,’ including a single stake limit per spin of up to €1 ($1.18) and an average spin speed of 5 seconds on online slots. It also establishes a sports-betting limit for the next goalscorer and final markets only. Moreover, a 5.3% turnover tax will now be charged from all online slots and poker.
The higher tax rates that have been imposed by the New State Treaty on Gambling and its modifications to the betting style, such as slot limits and spin speed, are likely to drive gamblers in Germany to online casino sites outside the country that provide the kind of services they want or prefer. The fact that these alternative sites do not operate in Germany simply means that they are not legally affected by the New State Treaty on Gambling.
Apart from the predicted effect that this new legislation will have on the behaviour of gamblers, the German government is also now at risk of not being able to pass extra legislation in this regard after the expiration of the New State Treaty on Gambling in 2028.
Finally, in terms of the realistic future of this treaty, it has been said that the New State Treaty on Gambling does not realistically provide gamblers, including online casino and poker players, with a sense of legal protection and a more prolific tax income using state-regulated gambling outfits. Besides, this solution is not meant for the long term. Furthermore, even though there is still a lot of ambiguity around the legislation, tighter oversight and higher taxation could drive players away from local betting choices in Germany.