No Online Slots, Poker Licences Issued Yet In Germany

January 6, 2022
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​​​​​​​No virtual slots or poker licences have been issued in Germany so far, according to records of the agency processing applications.

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No virtual slots or poker licences have been issued in Germany so far, according to records of the agency processing applications.

Online slots and poker have been permitted in Germany since July 1, but none have been approved despite a target of processing applications within three months, according to a so-called white list published by the Saxony-Anhalt state administration office.

As of December 14, the agency had received 49 applications for virtual slot games and seven for online poker, according to the German Press Agency (DPA).

Nearly 22,500 consumers have applied to be barred from gambling, as of mid-December, following the launch last July of the nationwide OASIS system, which is meant to block citizens from playing in land-based arcades and casinos, as well as online.

German gambling regulation is a complicated tangle.

Since January 2020, the Darmstadt Regional Council in Hesse has been approving online sports-betting licences.

The Saxony-Anhalt agency is merely handling the online gambling applications on an interim basis.

But most gambling regulation will gradually be taken over by a joint gambling authority of the 16 federal states, an authority which is currently ramping up for business in the city of Halle in that state.

Online table games such as roulette and blackjack will be licensed separately on a state-by-state basis.

So far only North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein have said they plan to open up for licensing, while Bavaria, Brandenburg and Saxony have opted for monopolies.

Several of the other states may wait until the Saxony-Anhalt regulator is fully ready for business in 2023, according to at least one lawyer, and Lower Saxony has said that specifically.

But the Saxony-Anhalt administration office, despite its interim status, has already launched prohibition orders against “numerous” sites offering illegal online gambling and some that advertise them, the office told media outlet Frankischer Tag.

The office declined to give details, citing disclosures as a potential threat to success, the German newspaper said.

Separately, German state lotteries showed a small decrease in revenue this year, a 0.3 percent decline to €7.9bn, according to German Lotto and Totoblock (DLTB).

About €3.2bn of that total went to good causes such as welfare, sports, culture, monument preservation and environmental protection, the DLTB said.

About 51 percent of revenue went through the popular LOTTO 6aus49 lottery draw, the group said.

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