Germany has made significant progress in fully regulating the online gambling industry nationwide. It already has a solid legislation which applies at state-level and now it is ready to make significant changes to its federal laws. The lawmakers have debated arduously for many months and have found a way to reach a consensus, while passing breakthrough regulation. The final version of the draft is ready and it will produce significant effects in 2021 and beyond.
Online slots stakes need new licenses
The growth of the German iGaming industry didn’t go unnoticed and the authorities decided that gambling regulation needs to be overhauled. The new controls for gambling businesses are regarded as necessary by the authorities, but for those directly affected, they are downright frightening. There are many bookmakers and casinos that fear that these measures will have devastating effects, especially those who rely heavily on online slots.
This genre is the most popular online and every respectable gambling operator has a sizable lineup of classic and modern slots. In Germany, players enjoy this genre at all levels, with beginners representing the vast majority of the customer pool. Commonly referred to as virtual slot machines by regulators, they are at the cornerstone of the new laws, which are quite restrictive. For starters, those like the playUK site who offer these games will have to apply for new licenses, therefore prove that they are in compliance with the law.
One of the biggest changes for the online gambling industry in general and slots games, in particular, is in regard to the total betting limits. Slot machines fans will no longer be able to bet in excess of €1 per around, which is a major decrease from current rates. While this law will be the most radical in effect across Europe, it is by no means new and it apparently drew inspiration from its UK counterpart. British regulators have reduced the maximum betting limits for land-based slots to £2 in April 2019.
Betting limits send shockwaves throughout online casinos
The impact of the diminished betting limits for land-based betting shops was catastrophic in the UK. Hundreds of properties were closed and thousands of employees were laid off, something that could also affect the online industry. Even though the UK gambling environment has responded promptly to these changes, the government decided to hold firm. The measures are still in effect and given the fact that casino representatives in Germany are less vocal, the new laws are also likely to be implemented in 2021.
These measures are supposed to be in effect nationwide, but the German federal model allows states to tinker with the rules. Some states such as Schleswig-Holstein have a different approach and try to find a middle road, as they fear the impact of overregulation. There is growing concern that some casinos might decide to leave altogether, while German players could consider offshore operators. This would defeat the purpose of lowering the limits to keep players safe, as they’ll take their chances with unlicensed casinos.
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