licensing and taxation of gambling activities in Germany – Agora Poker

In review: licensing and taxation of gambling activities in Germany

In review: licensing and taxation of gambling activities in Germany

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Legal and regulatory framework

i Legislation and jurisprudence

As explained in Section I.i, the basic legal framework for gambling in Germany is the Interstate Treaty 2021, which was introduced on 1 July 2021 and marks the fourth attempt of the German states to create uniform and EU-law-compliant gambling regulation.

The first amendment of the Interstate Treaty took place in 2012 following a legislative process that had to be initiated as a result of the CJEU finding that the state monopoly on sports betting that was provided for in the Interstate Treaty of 2008 contravened EU law.

The Interstate Treaty has been subject to criticism from the time it entered into force, and the failure of the sports betting licensing process, which was introduced by the Interstate Treaty and confirmed by national courts and most prominently by the CJEU in the Ince case to be unlawful, finally triggered the reforms that led to the Third Amendment of the Interstate Treaty. Since its entry into force on 1 January 2020, the regulator responsible for the licensing process for sports betting, the Regional Council of Darmstadt, has urged the industry to participate in the process notwithstanding a variety of open issues, including an open letter urging all operators to apply.

In spring 2020, the German federal states agreed on the Fourth Amendment of the Interstate Treaty on Gambling, which entered into force on 1 July 2021. Since 15 October 2020, a transitional regime has also been in place for already active virtual slot and online poker operators. The new legislation broadened the extent of permissible sports betting and introduced licensing of virtual slot games, online poker and online casino games, although the latter is expected to remain predominantly subject to a state monopoly.

Alongside the Interstate Treaty, gambling law is regulated by other state legislation, for example, the Gambling Acts implementing the Interstate Treaty, Casino Acts and ordinances. For historic or general reasons, some federal laws also influence gambling, such as the Race Betting and Lottery Act, the Trade Regulation Act, the Criminal Code and the Fiscal Code.

ii The regulatorThe responsibility for regulating gambling […]

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