German Gambling Industry Makes Wish List for Law Revision

  • Germany’s State Treaty for Gambling to be revised, again
  • The country’s gaming machine organisation pitches in with proposals

DAW takes part in gambling law amendment

The umbrella organisation for Germany’s gaming machine associations, Deutsche Automatenwirtschaft (DAW), has created a wish list for the re-regulation of the country’s gambling market.

The list highlights a number of key issues that must be addressed as lawmakers prepare to begin discussions over the re-regulation of what turned out to be a controversial law on a European level.

The DAW explained that the current regulations for commercial gambling, which are based on quantitative rather than qualitative criteria, undermine the objectives of the State Treaty on Gambling, which was discussed two months ago, especially when it comes to channeling players towards the legal market.

It added that establishments should be permitted to offer multiple game verticals. Furthermore, it said that the updated regulations should maintain the state lottery monopoly on draw-based games.

“The amendment of the State Treaty on Gambling is a great opportunity to counteract the undesirable developments – above all the rapid growth of the black market – with a holistic approach,” DAW chief executive Georg Stecker stated. “Only a coherent regulation of all forms of gaming, including the use of commercial slot machines based solely on quality standards, and a strengthening of legal providers can curb the black market and effectively protect consumers.”

He warned that the legalization of online gaming, which could be approved at the meeting, must be accompanied by a revision of land-based gaming machine regulations. ”Anyone who does not play a role in regulating the regulation of gaming slots out half of the legal gambling market incoherent regulation and further aggravates market imbalances. It can not be that online gambling is legalized, which are available everywhere, and at the same time the distance rules remain in the commercial slot game”.

Five critical points to address

As such, the DAW has set out five objectives it wants addressed in the revised State Treaty:

  1. Introducing uniform standards for responsible gaming training and player protection measures across all sectors. These controls must be constantly developed and regularly evaluated by professionals to ensure they are fit for purpose, it says.
  2. Rolling out a nationwide biometric system that would ensure voluntary restrictions on players’ gambling. The DAW believes this would aid the State Treaty’s goal of protecting players, by preventing them from moving to gamble via new channels as soon as they block themselves from others.
  3. Implementing a certification system for all gaming halls and outlets offering slot machines, to help consumers distinguish legal from illegal offerings. This would also simplify enforcement of regulations, it added.
  4. A qualification system for gaming machine professionals. This, it says, should include a tailored teaching programme and examinations.
  5. Regulations governing the exterior design of gaming establishments. It says these should ensure there are no inducements to gamble for minors and vulnerable people, while allowing the operator to inform and educate players about the range of games on offer.

The new regulations, which will be subject to debate at the Minister-President Conference from 23 October, have to ensure that legal providers can offer a competitive and economically viable alternative to unlicensed operators, according to the DAW.

Furthermore, lawmakers will debate changes to German gambling laws at the conference, which would come into force from 30 June, 2021. Although the third amended State Treaty will allow sports betting licenses from early 2020, these will only act as placeholders until a more comprehensive revision is agreed upon.

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