Germany Planning to Reduce Online Slots Betting Limits to €1 – Sources

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Lawmakers in Germany will most likely restrict online slot betting limits to just €1.4 ahead of the new Gambling Treat official roll out.

Germany Splits Online Casino Games and Virtual Slot Machine Licenses

Germany’s iGaming industry has undergone multiple changes both on a federal and state-level, with lawmakers finally agreeing on a finalized version of a draft to regulate the entire industry.

However, iGamingBusiness, a respected media covering the industry, now reports that Germany may be looking to introduce potentially devastating controls for gambling businesses, one of which includes the reduction of the overall slot stake size.

As per the Glücksspielneuregulierungsstaatsvertrag, the latest Gambling Treaty in the country, Germany will treat ‘virtual slot machines’ and ‘online casino games’ differently, asking for two separate licenses, sources have revealed.

New Licenses to Bite into Online Slots Stakes

According to the draft – as reported by aforementioned sources – casinos may apply for a casino games license or for a slot license. The latter precludes all other products usually associated with the casino experience.

More strikingly, though, Germany is planning to reduce the total betting limit to €1, even lower than the rate in the United Kingdom where fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) were slashed down to £2 or around €2.40 per spin back in April 2019.

However, the move was never applied to online slot machines and focused only on betting shops, which prompted to over 700 properties being closed and thousand of employees at a risk of losing their jobs. A suggestion to apply the same FOBTs measure to the online industry has been widely criticized.

In Germany, though, proponents of the casino industry aren’t as vociferous, as the country is more conservative regarding to its online gambling industry. Effectively, lawmakers are now deriving their new online regulation on slots from gaming machines in arcades and pubs online.

Shifting Away from the Federal Government

While the measures are planned on a federal level, the states of Schleswig-Holstein have said that they would seek to have more autonomy when it comes to their own gaming operations. While most online gaming licenses per state would probably correspond to the land-based casinos in each state, usually one each, Schleswig-Holstein will have more say in how many gaming companies set up shop.

Slots are generally perceived to have serious ramifications on a player’s finances if one overindulges or spends too much. However, overregulation shouldn’t be the leading tenet of the new Gambling Treaty in Germany.

Overregulation is likely to squeeze regulated operators too hard so that they close down and subsequently give way to unregulated illegal operators offering no player protection or paying tax. Meanwhile, sources close to the matter have said that the new Germany Treaty would also focus on heavily re-regulating lotteries, a move that some, including the Deutscher Lotto- und Totoblock (DTLB) have criticized.

Regulating the Gambling Industry from Now On

According to the leaked draft, Germany will get a major overhaul of its gambling industry. A central Gambling Agency will be established to oversee activities in all federal states. Gambling providers must ensure that each player has an account and a player won’t be able to deposit more than €1,000 or around $1,400 a month.

Gambling advertisement will also be restricted between 6 AM and 11 PM including online. More restrictions might come into play as well. The new Treaty is coming into effect on July 1, 2021.

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