As of 1 July 2021 a new Interstate Treaty on Gambling ("ISTG 2021") will come into force across Germany which includes new licensing possibilities for sports betting, virtual slot machines and online poker for private operators. Licenses issued under this new regulation will be valid in all of Germany. The gambling authority in the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt becomes the competent authority for the nationwide licensing process. The authority finally released the licensing conditions for virtual slot machines and online poker. Casino games, such as black jack or roulette, are not covered by the licensing conditions.
The licensing conditions, inter alia, cover the following:
The application needs to be handed in in writing and in addition electronically via mail or via electronic upload. It needs to include a declaration about the completeness of the documents as well as about the assumption of any costs for the verification of the safety, social and economic efficiency concept.
Under these conditions, only applicants established within the EU and EEA can apply for a license. If the required documents are not in German, it is necessary to provide a certified copy of the original and a certified translation.
The application documents shall provide details about the applicant and therefore outline any potential internal or external influences or risks upon the operation of gambling. These details shall include inter alia:
These documents shall include evidence of sufficient resources held by the applicant, certified by an independent auditor. The auditor must certify the adherence to additional requirements, for example the separation of the gamer’s and applicant’s funds. Additionally, the applicant must provide an economic concept with a forecast of the profitability within the first five or seven business years.
These documents shall include a safety concept as well as concepts with respect to on payment, IT security and money laundering. Moreover, these documents shall include a social concept that shall inform about youth protection and prevention of gambling addiction measures taken by the applicant.
The applicant shall indicate whether the technical processing of the distribution will be made by the applicant itself or by an external service/platform provider.
Furthermore, the applicant shall describe its website including information about the customer hotline, language setting, and data protection if available. Additionally, all brands of the applicant shall be listed. Finally, if any rebates within the distribution system are planned, these shall be disclosed.
It should be laid out whether the applicant will offer advertisement by itself or via external providers. In the latter case, information about the third party has to be specified.
The applicant shall provide an advertisement concept.
The applicant shall describe the relevant information about the offered games as well as their presentation to the gamers. Additionally, it shall be described in which way information about addiction risks, exclusion of minors and therapy opportunities shall be presented to the gamers.
In addition, further legal requirements exist such as the obligation to provide a printout of the Terms & Conditions, the appointment of a data protection chief officer (§ 38 BDSG) etc.