iGaming in Germany: Is It For Real?
With 85 million people and an average monthly income of around €4,000, Germany does look like the perfect opportunity for the iGaming business, but is it?
Well, let us go back to the beginning of 2008 when the largest national economy in Europe decided to enforce a new gambling law (Glücksspielstaatsvertrag) in order to control the ever growing operators who had been penetrating the German market without having any form of license in Germany and therefore did not contribute a single tax cent.
The verdict: A complete stop for all iGaming operators. But let us face the facts; the real reason was of course to keep the state monopoly for all Lotto and Sportsbetting games and the complete control over all slot machines.
Now, not everybody agreed with the way the government continued to advertise and promote gambling but yet still forbid all other non-state regulated gambling activities. This eventually led to a court case in front of the EU Parliament. Yet again Germany became a “grey-zone” with regulations for each and every federated state (Bundesland).
A solution was needed and all 16 states decided to create a new national law where only 20 sportsbetting operators will be granted a license (still keeping the Lotto and Casino a monopoly), but wait, all 16 states?
No! The state of Schleswig-Holstein in the very North of Germany decided against the new regulations and came up with their very own version whereby all gaming operators, including casino and poker will have to apply for a gaming license and therefore follow strict rules and pay tax. Sounds reasonable, does it not?
“Hallelujah!” screamed all operators and it looked like finally, the stubborn Germans are moving in the right direction. When the first licenses were granted to international operators last month, the iGaming world was ready to lastly invest in the fourth-largest country by nominal GDP in the world!
“Don’t count your chickens,” said the newly founded parliament of Schleswig-Holstein that officially announced a few weeks ago that it will join the other 15 states and withdraw all previously granted licenses. This surely will not pass without starting a massive legal battle with Schleswig-Holstein, the operators and I am certain, the EU parliament.
Business as usual in Germany!
About The Author
Hardy Eberle started his career in the iGaming industry almost a decade ago. As a native German, he has gained an extensive knowledge of the German market and worked with Betinternet, Boylesports and Youwin.com as a Country Manager. He has recently taken the same position with Euroslots.com. You can learn more about Euroslots’ affiliate program at cherryaffiliates.com.