First German Licensed Casinos (2021)

Michael Schumann
June 30, 2021

The first German licensed casinos and poker operators are named! As you may know, Germany’s long-awaited and ruptured path to consolidated gambling regulations has finally come to an end. According to the GlüStV 2021, 15 online poker and betting sites received licenses on October 12, including GVC Holdings and Bet365.

Since 2018 casino, online poker, and betting companies have been stuck into a pretty unclear functionality position. Peter Beuth, Minister of the Interior, made the announcement regarding ending this turbid situation.

On October 15, a transitionary period began, which led companies without a license to stop serving German customers.

Online Poker Sites Which Still Miss Initial Cut

Phil Galfond’s online poker site Run It Once announced on Monday that it would be temporarily inactive until it receives a license.

This pause might last from one to two months while its team works on meeting the new regulatory requirements. It can actually take a little longer due to the number of applications the Regional Council of Darmstadt has received since January.

Run It Once has to wait, but the following companies are licensed and ready to offer online poker, slots and sports betting in Germany.

The First German Licensed Casinos as of Jun 30th, 2021

SportingbetAdmiral SportwettenTipico
GamebookersTipwinGreenvest Betting

Germany Untangles Gambling Regulations

Germany has always been one of the top online poker markets in entire Europe. It has produced some of the game’s greatest in recent years, such as Fedor Holz. Even with a clear and strong desire for betting, the regulatory environment was compound at best.

Germany did not have a formal regulatory framework before GlüStV 2021 was introduced in 2008. This law immediately created a federal licensing system for online gambling that all 16 German states accepted.

The treaty became active in 2011 and certain states, particularly Schleswig-Holstein, disaffiliated and proposed their own licensing system. This gave a right to 48 operators, including PokerStars, to stay active in Germany.

However, German lawmakers tried their best to avoid a state-based gaming economy and return to a national system. They attempted to implement a nationwide regulatory framework in 2012 and 2018, but it did not work out due to regional disagreements. Finally, in spring 2020, all 16 German states came to an agreement to sign a revised version of the Treaty on Gambling, GlüStV 2021.

Schleswig-Holstein is part of the agreement. This directly means current license owners can remain active until they are authorized under the new regulatory system.

Despite the fact that we already are seeing the first licensed Casino and Poker operators on the market, The new German Gambling Treaty is receiving lots of criticism from industry experts. Apart from that, I would suggest reading what German players think about new regulations.

Author Michael Schumann

Michael Schumann here, originally from Germany, Berlin. Graduated from California International Business School in 2017. Researched iGaming industry regulations both in the EU and the US. Worked as a researcher-publisher with the big online publications; Business Insider, Gamblinginsider, IGB, Sportbild etc. With up to up to 7 years of experience under the belt and the new German Interstate Treaty on Gambling (GlüStV 2021) on the way decided to shift my focus on the homeland.