GlüStV 2021 – What’s Next?

Michael Schumann
July 8, 2021
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The gaming industry in Germany is under pressure, and this topic remains a political and moral issue in 2021 in the daily life of one of the most developed countries. The State Agreement on Gambling (GlüStV 2021) was the legal framework in Germany, adopted by 15 out of 16 German states in 2012. Its main objectives were consumer protection, fraud prevention, fighting the black market, and a complete ban on online casinos and the licensing process for sports betting.

Currently, unlike other European countries, online gambling in Germany has some restrictions. It is difficult for companies to offer online gambling, and although the government does not enforce these rules, an unlicensed form of online gambling is considered illegal.

New rules of GlüNeuRStV 2021 will allow players from Germany to use the services of licensed online casinos. The country cannot offer a convenient and comfortable gaming market as we can imagine a space to legalize all types of online games. The reason is the additional restrictions associated with the new rules.

Limits on deposits up to € 1000, betting limits for poker players, advertising limits for online casino operators – these are just a few of the bans Germany has adopted to replace the regulated black market. However, the gaming industry is expected to take the form of a new monopoly model. The goal that speeds up blocking unlicensed participants in the gaming market means no one knows how it will end.

The success of a regulated market is largely dependent on the effective suppression of unlicensed suppliers and the persuasion of German consumers. That is a risky and controversial issue and a very serious problem given the economic or quantitative statistics of the German population.

How are online casinos adapting to the new rules?

The introduction of the new rules is a kind of compromise. Some German states favor online gambling licensing for online casinos and poker, while others call for the restrictions to be maintained. GlüStV 2021 will further tighten the licensing process for online casinos, helping to sustain negative trends for consumers and online operators.

The beginning of last year has been called a transition period of tolerance, as operators can operate in the German market without a license if new regulatory measures are taken. Operators had a month to comply with strict consumer protection regulations; otherwise, the new regime would have interfered with their operations. As was expected Germany got its first licensed colonists.

The new policies concentrate on details such as the presence of a panic button, which permits gamers to keep away from gambling for 24 hours, also includes a five-second interval between games. The maximum bet on slot machines is € 1 ($ 1.19), which negatively influences the financial statistics of the online gambling business.

Opposite assessments also include the decision to impose a tax of 5.3% on online casino bets and poker games, which many perceive as an exaggeration. Even online poker operators will be forced to pay the government 5.3% per player’s stack as they adapt to the new charter. These changes have forced major operators such as Pokerstars, Partypoker, and Unibet to reduce the number of games they offer to avoid additional commitments. These rules even led to the fact that one of the largest operators, Betsson, left the gaming market altogether.

The online gambling site, Stargames, decided to adapt to the new regulations and put forward new cross-border requirements in the German market. According to brand manager Lazslo Pados, this is a great opportunity for the company to become the leader in the German online slots market. Trevor Giorgio, Managing Director of Greentube Malta, a leading full-service provider in the online and mobile gaming sector, is proud of the willingness of online operators to comply with the new rules and says this regime will create a safe environment for German players. How acceptable is it for players to establish a new monopoly order, and whether current trends will affect competition in the gaming industry? This topic is extremely risky and affects the players’ freedom of choice.

GlüNeuRStV 2021 – How will the new rules affect players?

While the new rules serve to strongly protect players and have a large following in this regard, they give you an incomplete gaming experience that pushes you into the services of the so-called black market. Consequently, a campaign to reduce risks in the future will backfire.

Online gambling legislation has already been reviewed in the UK, where betting rules and juvenile protection mechanisms have been revised. These rules prohibit the use of credit cards and prevent minors from using online casinos. Consequently, the number of recipients of black market services or transfers to other providers could increase, leading to changes in taxation rules and increased restrictions.

At first glance, the introduction of individual security rules should have a positive impact on player engagement. Still, recent polls show that 58 % of German players choose unlicensed online casino services, to avoid limits and restrictions. Namely, the maximum bet per spin (€ 1) and a 5-second waiting period per spin, as players understand that the higher the bet, the greater the possible payout. German players also consider the deposit limit of 1000 euros to be an obstacle, so they refuse the services of licensed operators.

Players perceive this restriction as a kind of unfairness because it limits their right to manage their money. You will not be allowed to play with multiple operators anymore, and you need to have one individual account. Surveys showed that 65% of gamers do not recognize the established boundaries of the newly regulated gaming industry.

What will happen next?

The online gambling business has been the subject of considerable criticism in Germany. The new rules in this highly developed European country have generated criticism and controversy from players and online operators. The gambling business is one of the strong engines of the country’s economic policy, so the damage caused by the imposed restrictions will not go unnoticed and will impact the long term.

Player protection rules have become a problem for online operators as merging with established rules is complex and time-consuming. Still, for most players, this process creates an inconvenience for the gaming market.

In line with the UK experience and UKGC, the new rules aim to protect players in Germany, including checking their sources of funds, bans on credit cards, age censorship, and restrictions on video slots, which have already caused problems for many operators in Germany. The game industry in the UK.

After all, experience shows that the new rules in Germany will only be effective if licensed websites and online casinos become more attractive to players than “black-market” ones. Customization should start with clarifying details such as brand, product, and bidding.

Maarten Haijer has highlighted the weakness of these issues, the secretary-general of the European Association for Gambling and Betting, who points out that the restrictive features of future rules will inadequately meet the needs of players increasing the number of black market operators.

Decreased demand for services from the industry, an increase in the number of unlicensed operators, incomplete satisfaction of players’ demands, and a weakening of the significant growth of the country’s economy are just some of the potential threats to be expected after 2021 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.