The new gambling treaty from July 1, 2021 has changed a lot. Since July 1, 2021, virtual (gambling) has been legal in Germany under certain conditions. The regulations of the current gambling treaty apply to all types of providers, including Casino Bizzo, online casinos, gaming halls, betting shops and lotteries.
Thus, since July 1 of last year, it has been necessary to create a gambling account for all gambling. When creating the account, information on name and age must be provided in order to exclude minors from participation. Organizer and mediator:inside must (theoretically) examine the indicated data. Another measure is that, in principle, no more than 1000 euros per month may be deposited into the account with all providers. Live casino offers, table games and parallel games with different providers are prohibited without exception. In addition, there is a ban on advertising on the Internet and radio for virtual slot machine games, online casinos and online poker from 6 am to 9 pm. As a final ripcord for gamblers who are about to gamble away their belongings, a so-called panic button has been set up. The panic button blocks the gambler for 24 hours for his own protection. Also mandatory are regular notices of winnings and losses and a nationwide blocking file for addicts.
The new gambling treaty is intended to help regulate and, at best, contain the black market. In addition, fraud on the gambling market is to be prevented. Similarly, it is intended to ensure that gambling is conducted properly in order to prevent and combat gambling addiction.
The noble intentions of regulating the online gambling market through measures in the name of youth protection and addiction prevention are all well and good. Not to be forgotten, however, are massive tax revenues that the market brings in for the individual states. Schleswig-Holstein expected additional revenues of 50 to 60 million euros per year from the liberal regulation of online gambling. Convincing in this context was also the turnover of 1.76 billion euros that online casino providers from abroad achieved in 2017 – before the 2022 gambling treaty – according to the gambling supervisory authority (which, by the way, is an increase of 36% compared to the previous year – tendency: rising). Since stopping illegal sites from abroad is a difficult undertaking, it is hoped that controlled and licensed German providers will provide more player protection (… and more tax revenue). How the measures will affect the gaming landscape in the long run will probably be seen in the coming time.
Worrying facts: Gambling addiction in Germany
Gambling is known to have a high potential for addiction. In Germany alone, more than 400,000 people show gambling behavior in the critical range, according to the “Automatically Lost” campaign, which provides information about gambling addiction and offers counseling. In 2018, the total turnover on the German gambling market exceeded 46 billion euros for the first time. Incidentally, this absurdly high sum does not include the sales of social lotteries, telephone lotteries, sports betting and online gambling by private and foreign providers. The operators of slot machines made more than 29 billion euros in sales in 2018. Incidentally, there are a total of 245,000 such devices in the state of Germany.
What is macabre is that for Anbieter:innen of games of chance, the business is only worthwhile if the losses of the gambler are greater than their winnings. At the end of the supposed fun of gambling, the gambler is usually left with a high level of debt. Only a minority of about 28% of gambling addicts have no debts. For about 18% of those in debt, the debts exceed a total value of 25,000 euros.