German States in Discussion Over Possible Transition Period for iGaming

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Several German states are in discussions over a potential transition period that could allow operators to continue offering online casino products until the vertical is legalised from July 2021.

The exact nature of the discussions and whether this would allow operators to provide online casino without any sort of restriction, is as yet unclear, with reports telling that they do not want to pre-empt the talks.

“The federal states are currently coordinating the extent to which enforcement measures against illegal gambling can be effectively implemented in the transition phase,” a spokesperson for the state government of Nordrhein-Westfalen said.

While other states are yet to respond to requests for comment, local media reports that the chancelleries in Bavaria, Hamburg and Berlin are also involved in the discussions.

The discussions are playing out ahead of the implementation of the Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsvertrag (GlüNeuRStV) from 1 July 2021. This revised regulatory model, which is currently subject to a standstill period as it is considered by the European Commission, expands the online market beyond sports betting for the first time.

From July next year, online casino and poker will be regulated, albeit under strict conditions, such as a €1 per spin cap on slot stakes, and table games licences restricted to the number of land-based casinos in each state.