The Interstate Gambling Regulation Treaty
The main legal framework governing land and online betting in Germany is the Interstate Treaty on Gambling 2012/2020, which sets out the main objectives and fundamental elements of the German gambling regulation. It was adopted by 15 of the 16 country’s states in 2012, and by Schleswig-Holstein in 2013.
Glücksspielneuregulierungsstaatsvertrag or the Interstate Gambling Regulation Treaty maintains a state monopoly on the operation of lotteries, online casinos and provides for a licensing process for sports betting as well as defines the specific types of gambling that are covered under the legislation.
The current version of the Interstate Treaty is valid until June 30th, 2021, and for a long time it was not clear whether the German federal states would agree on a new unified regulation.
The reason for the disagreement was in particular, whether the online gambling market should be liberalised. While some federal states strongly supported the introduction of a licensing procedure for online casinos and poker, others wanted to keep the online ban. Still, following a significant amendment, the ban was lifted, and from July 1st, 2021, they should be legal on a state level. A new regulatory authority will be established, which will handle the licensing, ensure protection for vulnerable people showing signs of addictive behaviour, and introduce strict safeguarding laws against underage gambling.