Online gambling operator Bet365 has announced that it will be switching off its Germany-facing online casino as of December 30th. In preparation for this, the brand has told affiliates promoting its site for this market to stop doing so.
Lights off for Germany, but not Austria
In a reported email, Bet365 said that “any promotion of Bet365’s non-sports products” must be removed by said date. However, it was also confirmed that the online casino would remain operational in Austria.
It is thought that Bet365 is preparing for new regulatory changes in Germany, with interim rules coming into effect from 1st January. In preparation for this, the German state of Hesse had told operators to apply for applications. But in sports betting at least, none had been received as of December 12th.
As part of the regulatory process, authorities stated that services in the country must be switched off in the meantime. Bet365 has done exactly that.
Consequences for non-compliers
When the Darmstadt Regional Council revealed the deadline for applications, it also warned that non-compliers will be dealt with accordingly. At the time, Minister Peter Beuth said the following:
“I urgently warn operators that from January 2020, sports betting is subject to authorisation. There will be no more toleration of unlicensed offerings.”
“We will consistently prohibit illegal offerings. If you do not have permission then you are liable for prosecution, and the state will be forced to act.”
The temporary laws for online gambling in Germany will come into effect as soon as 2020 begins. They’re intended to be a stopgap for more permanent, nationwide regulation. That’s expected to be implemented by the summer of 2021.
Earlier this year, payment service providers in the country were pressured to stop accepting transactions in certain iGaming areas. PayPal adhered to these demands by terminating its online casino payment offerings here.