The new Germany-wide gambling regulator based in Saxony-Anhalt has launched a website and unveiled its name as it prepares for a January 1, 2023 launch.
The regulator is called Gemeinsamen Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL) or, in English, the Joint Gambling Authority of the States.
It says its job is to “ensure the protection of minors and players and to prevent gambling and betting addiction”, as well as ensure uniform enforcement of the law and let licensees operate under the same framework conditions.
Its first official duty before that 2023 launch will be to take on enforcement against unauthorised offers and advertising from July 1 this year, the authority said on its website.
Until next January, regulation will remain divided among five entities: Saxony-Anhalt’s state administrative office, which is currently processing online slots and poker applications; the regional council of Darmstadt, in Hesse, handling sports betting and online racing; Hamburg regulating small lotteries; Rhineland-Palatinate dealing with nationwide social lotteries; and Lower Saxony administering payment blocking.
Table games such as blackjack and roulette will be licensed on a state-by-state basis, with Schleswig-Holstein among the first movers in setting up licensing rules.
As of January 28, the Saxony-Anhalt state administrative office had still issued no licences for either online slots or poker.
There have been 58 slots applications and seven poker applications since the July 1 opening of the market and the office blames a lack of staff for delays in processing, according to newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
The lack of approvals means that no advertising for online slots or poker is allowed.
The GGL says it wants to promote gambling research, with key issues including the development of tools to measure addictive potential of various forms of gambling, the effects of regulation and safety tools on player behaviour, evaluation of new kinds of gambling and the role of forms of marketing in gambling addiction.
Running the agency are Ronald Benter and Benjamin Schwanke, who was formerly head of the Hamburg gambling regulator.
In the coming months, the agency will advertise for about 50 jobs, with a goal of having 110 staff for the full January launch, Benter said.