Germany’s New Regulator Starts Work This Friday

Until now, gambling in Germany was supervised locally by the federal states. This system will change in 2023 when the country’s new regulator, Glücksspielbehörde (GGL), takes over. The GGL will start work at a limited capacity beginning July and will focus on battling unlicensed operators and advertisements.

New Consolidated Regulation Will Improve Operator Compliance

The GGL will assume all of its duties on January 1st, 2023. Until then, Germany is in a transition phase. During this period, the authority will share its obligations with various federal states and the respective gaming supervisory authorities. The regulator’s initial measures will be to shut down unlicensed operators via IP addresses and payment blocks. Websites advertising unlicensed gambling will also be subject to bans.

Glücksspielbehörde’s central task will be to consolidate the regulation of the German online gambling market. Cross-border online gambling services will need to be checked and approved. The authority will periodically check whether operators comply with player protection guidelines, especially regarding the protection of minors and gambling addiction prevention. 

Concentrating all supervision into a central authority intends to ensure that the law is enforced uniformly across all German provinces and that gambling provider can operate under the same conditions. To this end, the regulator will closely monitor the gaming market in addition to financing scientific studies related to gambling. The regulator will supervise casinos, lotteries, gaming machines, sports betting, horse racing, and online gambling. The GGL website is already active and contains a list of trusted gambling operators and information on gambling research, prevention, and protection.

The Regulator Appointed an Experienced Leader to Fight Illegal Gambling

Nadja Wierzejewski, the authority’s newly appointed department head, will be responsible for combating illegal online gambling and its advertising. A lawyer with significant expertise in this area, she has been the head of the Supervisory and Service Directorate (ADD) of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate since 2008. 

Wierzejewski will also be in charge of LUGAS- the country’s cross-operator gaming supervision system. Its purpose is to ensure operator adherence to various regulations. Gambling companies will enforce deposit limits, ensure that players only log in with one operator at a time, and prevent banned players from gambling. All licensed providers will be required to use the evaluation system and provide data on the behavior of their players for analysis and player protection.

The new head of the department’s appointment comes just in time for July 1st when the regulator will officially start work. It is unclear how well the GGL’s plans will work out in practice, but recent signs are promising. Three operators have received licenses for online slots, and several sports betting companies are already operating under existing guidelines despite the initially slow and arduous verification process.

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