A new state treaty for sports betting and online casinos like The King Casino (https://the-king-casino.com/) is expected to come into force in 2021. A working group has proposed significantly softer rules for the transition period. Addiction experts sound the alarm.
The states have been negotiating for a long time: The State Treaty on the New Regulation of the Gaming System is to fundamentally reform the rules for private providers of sports betting and online casinos from July 2021. But even before it is ratified, a working group of the state chancelleries is planning to grant generous transitional regulations to providers who have so far been operating illegally.
This emerges from a draft resolution that NDR reporters were able to see. The aim of the paper drawn up by the heads of the state chancelleries in Bavaria, Hamburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Berlin are rules for the transitional phase: the time in which the new state treaty had been negotiated however still not in force. Until then, the old state treaty will actually apply, which fundamentally prohibits private gambling offers on the Internet.
Amnesty for online casinos
The transitional rules now proposed are tantamount to an amnesty for many unauthorized online casinos. The text states that the enforcement against illegal gambling offers will be concentrated on providers who can evade the expected future regulation. It is also «harmless» if a provider already offers online casino games, but adheres to the requirements of the new state treaty, «as far as this is technically possible». It is unclear how providers who are often based abroad should be checked.
In sports betting, a monthly loss limit of 1000 euros per player has so far applied. Providers can request exceptions for individual players.
Federal states are far apart
A spokesman for the Hamburg Senate Chancellery said on request about the compromise: “Hamburg is in favor of a general ban on online casino games. Since this requires a unanimous decision by all federal states and this has been blocked for years by individual state governments, a compromise had to be found.” The state chancelleries of Berlin, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Bavaria did not want to get involved or did not answer at all.
From people familiar with the events it was heard that the transition proposal was an attempt to unite the very different positions of the countries on matters of gambling. Apparently, so it is said from negotiating circles, there is now a fear in some state chancelleries that the long-negotiated new state gambling treaty might even fail.
Drastic deficits in player protection
The Gambling Advisory Board, a body that advises the federal states, criticizes the proposed interim solution. «We clearly demand that gambling providers who have been operating illegally so far are not tolerated and that they can only obtain a license after a phase of conduct,» says Konrad Landgraf, deputy chairman of the advisory board and managing director of the state agency for gambling addiction in Bavaria. «Here companies that offer illegal gambling from abroad are legalized in one fell swoop,» Landgraf continued.
In a letter that was sent to all state parliaments this week and that is available to the NDR , the advisory board even calls for the state gambling treaty to be renegotiated.