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:

  1. Format of the application

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.

  1. International Providers

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.

  1. Application documents

The applicant shall provide the necessary evidences and documents to support and prove claims made by him as well as required declarations for example about the completeness.

3.1 Documents for the examination of the provider's reliability

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:

  • The applicant's financial and voting rights structure
  • The applicant's authorized representatives
  • A declaration about the commitment not to offer any illegal gambling
  • Administrative records like an extract from commercial register or clearance certificate

3.2 Documents for the examination of the applicant's capacity and submission of a profitability concept

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.

3.3 Documents to prove the transparency and security of the gambling operation

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.

3.4 Distribution concept

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.

3.5 Advertisement

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.

3.6 Information

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.

3.7 Further requirements

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.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.