German authorities have warned regulated operators offering online gambling or poker to stop doing this, or risk losing their licence.
The Darmstadt Regional Council, which represents the state of Hesse, issued a letter stating this after a number of press releases asked for the licensing process to be delayed. According to those requests, more time was needed because of little transparency around the introduction of regulations.
At the moment, Germany is in the process of reforming its gambling laws. It’s working on implementing the third amended gambling State Treaty. Interim laws are expected to be introduced on January 1st 2020, and last until the end of June 2021.
In its released statement, the council said that “State authorities will not tolerate this”. It also added the following:
“Once the third amended State Treaty enters into force, sports betting providers that continue to operate in the German market without obtaining permission can expect to be sanctioned.”
Germany’s iGaming regulatory landscape is sensitive at the moment, with stricter measures already having been implemented elsewhere. Earlier this year, PayPal stopped accepting online casino payments in the country.
After these changes were implemented, LeoVegas reported that its German online revenue was affected by “20-30%”. Gustaf Hagman, the company’s Chief Executive, referred to “greater complexity in several of our main markets” after its Q3 results were released.
How these warnings affect the current operations of brands in Germany is yet to be seen. GVC Holdings said that it was planning to use this market for revenue growth back in August, after suffering losses in the UK.
Meanwhile, Regulus Partners said that operators’ sports betting revenue in the nation could go down by up to 70% if the Treaty came into full effect.
At the moment, only one state in Germany offers regulated online gambling: Schleswig-Holstein. However, players elsewhere are seldom punished unless they wager on a website based outside the EU.