Germany’s online gambling regulation

The transitional phase for the regulated i-gaming market in Germany began on 15 October 2020, having been agreed by the 16 individual Länder. It will run until the new Interstate Gambling Treaty comes into force in July 2021.

Any operator wishing to have any chance of obtaining a licence in 2021 will have to abide by the restrictions imposed during the transitional phase.

One of the main conditions of this phase is the cessation of all online casino table games. Licences for such games – as opposed to online slots – will be at the discretion of the individual states. Any licences issued will be from July 2021 and the number issued must not exceed the number of existing land-based casino licences. It is possible, therefore, that some states might opt not to issue any licences or retain this category of games as a monopoly, perhaps for the lottery.

There are currently 70 casinos in Germany, operated by 18 individual licence holders, usually being one licensed entity per state. The exceptions to this are Hessen and Rheinland-Pfalz.

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