Gambling in Germany
The gambling laws in Germany are considered somehow complex. The situation gets even more serious if taking into account the fact that the legislation has been changed several times over the years. These changes started with the full ban of all forms of online gaming and betting, except form horse racing betting. These rules, however, were questioned and the system was even accused in monopolism.
Still, a great number of the German population are involved with gambling activities as part of their pastime. The legalized industry has brought a turnover of billions of euro over the past several years. Gambling has long had legal status in Germany. In its recent history, the local state authorities were the once entitled with the right and responsibility of regulating gambling on the territory of the country. Nowadays, however, gaming and gambling activities in Germany are monitored and controlled on a higher level.
In the period between 2008 and 2012, gambling was declared as illegal in the country under its federal regulation. The only exception was the state of Schleswig-Holstein, where gambling was legalized. After this period, the Government of the country introduced new rules aimed at the regulation and licensing procedures of local gambling operators.
Gambling in Germany is in a complex legal situation up to date, because it is still largely unregulated. The country, however, is currently making its steps towards an official licensing program. The situation related to gambling legislation in Germany is still pretty complex due to the fact there are two laws existing – the interstate law, which is called Glücksspielstaatsvertrag (The German Interstate Treaty), and the Glückspeilgesetz. The so-called Glücksspielstaatsvertrag is an arrangement between the separate states in the country. It took effect in 2008, but it has recently been updated. As a result, online lotteries in the country can now be operated. In addition, the bidding process concerning the licences of about 20 online sports betting operator is currently on the agenda.
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Relevant Legislation in Germany
The Glücksspielstaatsvertrag (the German Interstate Treaty) is considered as the most important piece of the current country’s regulation. The law came into effect on January 1st, 2008. A total of 15 of the 16 German federal states signed it.
At first, heavy restrictions were imposed by the law’s original form. The restrictions were aimed at protecting local players from gambling addictions, as well as preventing frauds and other crimes that are related to gambling. The original version of the German Interstate Treaty also did not contain any provisions concerning the regulation of online gambling operations.
The latter changed immensely when the law was updated almost four years later – on December 15th, 2011. The changes made in the Glücksspielstaatsvertrag included several aspects of the law amended. First, there were some provisions related to allowing the online lotteries offering. Then, there were several provisions to issue a maximum of 20 online sports betting licences, in return to 5% tax on the operators’ yearly turnover.
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