HOPE AT LAST FOR GERMAN ONLINE GAMBLING
 
Pressure from operators, the courts and the European Commission leads to a revision of the chaotic State Treaty on Gambling.
 
On Friday a press release from a German prime ministers conference boosted hopes that the chaotic and frustrating regulatory scene in regard to online gambling policy in Germany may at last be on the road to a fair and logical reorganization.
 
The release notes that Germanys sixteen lande (provinces) have reached broad agreement on a new State Treaty on Gambling which will remove the inconsistencies in the present 2012 treaty that have been so widely condemned by the courts and the European Commission, and have frustrated operators to the point where they have resorted to litigation.
 
The situation has effectively paralyzed the licensing infrastructure, and progress can hopefully now be made.
 
Probably the most important change is the lifting of the restrictions which made only 20 sports betting licenses available; this will now be replaced with a sensibly uncapped system in which minimum quality standards are the criteria and licenses are awarded when these are met.
 
A possible answer to speculation on why Germany was recently a participant in talks on player sharing with other European nations is also contained in the press release, which reveals that German regulatory staff have been tasked with investigating developments in the international online casino gambling sector.
 
That implies that the previously implacable opposition to licensed online casino gaming in Germany has been replaced by a more realistic and pragmatic approach that could at last give German internet and mobile punters an opportunity to play on German licensed and regulated websites.
 
Other changes concern consumer protection issues like monthly loss limits, and the formation of a new enforcement organization to deal with unlicensed intrusions into the sector.
 
The press release is in German, but can be accessed in full here:
 
http://www.regierung-mv.de/static/Regierungsportal/Ministerpräsident%20und%20Staatskanzlei/Dateien/pdf-Dokumente/228-2016.pdf