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German regulators announce nine gambling licence approvals under new laws

That total sat at three until this past weekend, when the Administration Office at Sachsen-Anhalt announced nine more approvals.

At the moment, information on those approvals is fairly minimal – for example, we don’t know which operators have been issued with licences above and beyond the initial three: Tipwin, Mybet and Mernov. What we do know is that as of this moment, the permits issued only allow these casinos to offer slots gaming. Although the liberalisation of the law allows for poker providers to be licensed, no such licences have been granted as of yet – and we don’t know if any have been requested.

It is fair to say that where online gambling is concerned, the German authorities are moving cautiously. There’s good reason for this, too, as the legalisation – confirmed almost exactly a year ago – came along with an announced crackdown on illegal operators. The law created a new body responsible for the administration of online betting, named die Glücksspielbehörde – literally, the Gaming Authority. Along with issuing the licences for newly-created casino sites, they have responsibility for investigating law-breaking in the industry, and they have had to investigate close to 900 betting sites in the last year.

There is also some suspicion that the sluggish movement from potential providers in seeking licences has something to do with the restrictions that the new law implemented. Slot gaming stakes were limited to 1€ – a much lower amount than the worldwide standard – as a way of addressing problem gambling. As of this moment, it seems that this has discouraged some potential providers. The total number of applications from prospective online casinos is understood to be slightly over 70, which is not the kind of rush that usually follows a newly-announced liberalisation of the law.

Along with the twelve licences now granted, just one of the initial applications has been outright rejected, with eight withdrawn by the applicants and a further three referred to the Glücksspielkollegium (Gaming College) for more intense scrutiny. That leaves somewhere between 40-50 applications that will presumably either be granted or rejected in due course. When will that be? Looking at the work of the Glücksspielbehörde thus far, it’s anyone’s guess.

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