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Germany ratified the Third State Treaty on Gambling

George Miller

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Germany ratified the Third State Treaty on Gambling
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The Minister-Presidents of Germany’s 16 federal states have ratified the third amended State Treaty on Gambling, paving the way for operators to apply for sports betting licences in the market, while Schleswig-Holstein will be allowed to run its own, liberal regulatory regime.

At the Minister-Presidents’ Conference yesterday (March 21), the lawmakers agreed to sign the Treaty, with licences to come into force from January 1, 2020 and run until June 30, 2021. This will effectively act as a placeholder, with a view to a complete overhaul of Germany’s gambling regulations by 2021.

The Treaty will also be submitted to the European Commission to be ratified, which is expected to take place in April this year, with a view to beginning the licensing process later in 2019.

The third amended State Treaty has undergone few changes from the 2012 edition, though the controversial 20-licence limit has been removed. While there is no limit on the number of operators that can be licensed, licensees will be taxed on 5% of turnover, in-play betting is prohibited, and players will not be allowed to spend more than €1,000 (£868/$1,137) each month. As before, sports betting is the only vertical permitted.

Schleswig-Holstein will be permitted to continue with its own liberal regulatory model until 2021. First introduced in 2011, the state has does not impose any restrictions on product verticals, and sets a 20% gross revenue tax. Steps towards renewing licences issued in 2012 began last week, with a view to having these run until June 30, 2021. The state will effectively act as a testing ground for a more liberal model, which from 2021 could be rolled out across the rest of the country.

Dr Wulf Hambach of leading German law firm Hambach & Hambach suggested that due to the short-term nature of the amended Treaty, it would be difficult to enforce the prohibitoin on live betting.

“There is also also big question over whether the online casino ban will be obeyed from January 1, 2020 onwards,” Hambach added. “If, for instance, other federal states are in favour of online casino regulation, they are unlikely to enforce the ban.”

Hambach said that with varied stances on gambling regulation across a number of states, the 2021 overhaul could give states the choice to opt in or out of a more liberal framework.

“I think it’s is likely that after 2021 you will see a fully regulated market, so this one step in the right direction, and there are already a lot of discussions between states, but I think these talks are very fruitful. If you look back two or three years, there haves never really been serious discussions about major reforms [to gambling regulation],” he continued. “This is the first time that it feels like a major step forward has been taken.”

Hans-Jörn Arp, parliamentary leader of the Christian Democratic Union in Schleswig-Holstein and one of the State Treaty’s most vocal opponents, described today’s agreement as a “breakthrough”.

“Today’s decision of the Minister President Conference to present the foundations for follow-up regulations to the State Treaty on Gambling, means we have finally achieved a breakthrough after ten years, and gained recognition from the other federal states,” Arp said.

“For Schleswig-Holstein, this is a great success, after the state had long met with resistance to its  forward-looking solution in the field of gambling,” he said. “Now the other federal states are pulling in the same direction, after they were finally convinced that the Schleswig-Holstein model is expedient.”

Arp said this had been aided by a cross-party consensus in the Schleswig-Holstein state parliament.

He said the decision was not only good news for those who play online, who would be better protected when gambling, but also for professional sports clubs, which could be supported by additional investment generated through gambling taxes.

However German operator association the Deutscher Sportwettenverband took a less positive approach, with president Mathias Dahms describing the Treaty’s ratification as an insufficient first step towards regulating the country’s sports betting market.

“The third amendment to the State Treaty on Gaming is only a temporary measure for the short transitional period until 2021,” Dahms said. “It does not solve the structural deficits of the State Treaty, but gives the countries time to continue negotiating the urgently needed modernisation of German gambling law.”

Dahms said that even as a short-term measure the restrictions imposed under the State Treaty would prompt bettors to flock to illegal sites.

“In Germany there is a strong sports betting market,” he explained. “Customers have clear expectations of their sports betting product.

“If states completely ignore social realities and customer demand, they run the risk of failing again with their regulation. Unattractive conditions threaten to marginalise the licensed offerings in Germany compared to the black market.”

Dahms said that a thorough and transparent process to develop new regulations was vital, one that involved industry stakeholders, sports clubs, as well as medical professionals, noting that the last public hearing had taken place in May 2010.

“Since then, the Treaty has only been developed behind closed doors,” he said. “We and many other associations are therefore offering states the opportunity to contribute our decades of expertise in a cooperative and constructive manner in order to develop successful German gambling regulations.”

The German association of slot machine manufacturers Deutsche Automatenwirtschaft also urged states to use the time before the expiry of the Treaty in 2021 to develop new regulations.

“The consensus that has been reached is a first step. However, the main goal, namely the much-needed, coherent regulation of all forms of gambling, is still pending,” Deutsche Automatenwirtschaft chief executive Georg Stecker said.

Stecker said that only an attractive legal offering would succeed in drawing players away from a “rampant” black market.

“Only when all forms of gambling, including commercial slot machines, are regulated according to quality standards, can the black market be contained, consumers sustainably protected and legal businesses strengthened.”

Jens Bader, co-founder of iGaming payments company, MuchBetter added:

“We will look back on today as an opportunity missed. This was a big chance to decide the future of online gambling across the German-speaking market, but we’re left with more uncertainty and only a placeholder agreement. It’s good that there are no more artificial restrictions on the number of licences awarded to operators, but today’s vote was far from decisive on other issues including the legality of online gambling, casino and poker. It is very naïve to think that these issues will go away, or that a country can pick and choose which parts of gambling it likes. This is not how the rest of the world works and by only allowing betting, Germany could make it very difficult for operators to comply.

“Casinos won’t go away. They will continue to operate under the licences they have, with prohibition enforcement in the transitional period unlikely.”

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Week 42 slot games releases

George Miller

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Week 42/2019 slot games releases
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

Let’s have a look at this week’s latest slot game releases

NetEnt has expanded its selection of Asia-inspired slots with the launch of the highly energetic Sweety Honey FruityTM. The low-medium volatility game is a five-reel, 15-bet line video slot that combines an Oriental backdrop and traditional music with an exotic fruit theme. Dragon fruit, star fruit and juicy melons are among the tasty treats bursting onto the reels and combining to activate wild substitutions and free spins. Sweety Honey Fruity is NetEnt’s latest Asian-focused title, following last month’s release of Twin HappinessTM.

NetEnt - Sweety Honey Fruity

 

Microgaming has launched the latest slot game Deco Diamonds Deluxe, developed by Just For The Win. Deco Diamonds Deluxe is a vibrant five-reel, nine-payline, high-volatility online slot gleaming with diamond-encrusted reels, glitzy symbols and a swinging soundtrack. Offering a unique slice of 20s nostalgia, Deco Diamonds Deluxe is now available exclusively to Microgaming operators.

Microgaming - Deco Diamonds Deluxe

 

Endemol Shine Gaming has launched its new video slot Monster Meltdown, which introduces a brand new mechanic, Scatterways. Monster Meltdown is set in an industrial laboratory where robots work to rear radioactive monsters to use for scatterways wins. The robots can also trigger features with the levers to help maximise the wins.

Endemol Shine Gaming Launches Monster Meltdown Video Slot

 

The fascinating Volcano Wealth video slot from EGT Interactive has the awesome 100 fixed pay lines, so you get the max number of winning chances on each spin, 4 reel positions and 5 reels. The smooth graphic is in the hot theme with variety of fairy symbols. “Volcano” symbol is Wild and appears on all reels. It substitutes for all symbols on the same reel except Scatters. One of the main bonus features is a four-level mystery jackpot cards. Three or more Scatters trigger the other main, bonus feature – FREE SPINS. Available both on desktop and mobile.

Volcano Wealth. New video slot proposal from EGT Interactive

 

Tom Horn Gaming’s new slot game, Hot’n’Fruity, promises to satisfy any craving for a feature-packed, visually attractive gaming entertainment. In recent months the provider has upped its game, releasing more engaging titles with new innovative features, while still keeping classic player experience alive. This well-balanced combination of new ideas, presented in the form of game mechanics, and a tried and tested game concept, theme or visual is reflected also in Hot’n’Fruity.

Tom Horn’s Hot’n’Fruity promises classic entertainment with huge winning potential

 

Scary critters are lurking in the darkness of Greentube’s Home of Games with the arrival of the brand-new spooky slot, Bat Stax™. This hauntingly exciting new title is now available for all B2B partners – if they dare! Those who embrace the darkness in the 5-reel slot Bat Stax™ chance generous wins if the creatures of the night land in their favour. The thrilling gameplay requires players to be at their bravest as they head into the deepest, darkest caves in search of treasure.

Greentube's Latest Slot Release - Spooky Times Ahead In Bat Stax™

 

Yggdrasil, the innovative online gaming solutions provider, has released its darkest slot yet in time for Halloween, Blood Moon Wilds. The 3×5 game, set in the spooky bayou surrounding New Orleans, sees humans transform into treasure-seeking Werewolves under the light of the full moon. The title, which has been designed exclusively for GVC, is packed full of innovative features which can generate massive win potential. The lunar calendar appears on a dial above the game screen and turns with every spin. When the full moon lands in the base game the high pay symbol villagers are transformed into Werewolf Wilds.

Yggdrasil - Blood Moon Wilds

 

Play’n Go have provided the industry with more new content today, with the release of their new slot Cash Pump. Another innovative offering from the slot supplier, Cash Pump’s takes the novel approach of combining FOUR classic slot machines into one game! This gives players 4 different 3×3 reel play areas to win on with every spin. The game brings the 4 slots together with its creative in-game features. Firstly, the Free Spin mode is activated by landing Scatters on each slot, and landing a strip of Wilds on the middle reel of any play area duplicates across all four slots.

Play’n GO hit the Road with Latest Slot Release

 

Microgaming travels deep into the jungles of Africa with 9 Masks of Fire™, the latest online slot developed exclusively by Gameburger Studios, creators of the hit debut slot, Break da Bank Again Respin. 9 Masks of Fire is the second title from Gameburger Studios, a new independent game studio serving up exclusive, mouth-watering content to Microgaming. Ignited with glowing visuals, this fiery African-themed, 20-payline slot takes players on a search for coveted masks of fire across five red-hot reels fuelled by powerful gameplay features, including free spins, Mask Pays, and the Free Spin Wheel.

Microgaming sets the reels ablaze in 9 Masks of Fire™

 

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eSports

Puma Partners with Cloud9

Niji Narayan

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Puma Partners with Cloud9
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Puma has announced a multiyear partnership with esports brand Cloud9 to create an apparel collection for gamers.

“Tapping into the world of esports, and its broad, dynamic consumer audience, is critical to our marketing strategy moving forward,” Adam Petrick, global director of brand and marketing at Puma said.

“Being able to transcend esports and elevate our brand within a broader global audience is the natural evolution of the growth of Cloud9,” Jordan Udko, executive vice president, commercial partnerships for Cloud9 said.

The effort to capture consumers interested in esports to buy sneakers and apparel may be difficult for Puma and others, according to Matt Powell, a senior industry analyst for market researcher NPD Group.

“It’s really going to be interesting to see if anyone can monetize it. There is an opportunity for a connection. Players want to identify themselves as players. If this is how they choose to do it, there is a monetary opportunity. Whether the esports player is focused on that as much as the real sports player remains to be seen,” Powell said.

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Latest News

GambleAware Receives £5.4m in Donations

Niji Narayan

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GambleAware Receives £5.4m in Donations
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

UK charity GambleAware has received £5.4m in donations during the period of six months upto September 30, 2019.

GVC remains the top donor with £1.46m. It is the same amount that the gambling operator donated during the previous fiscal. William Hill donated £1m, the same as last year. While Bet365 has donated £868k, Rank Group, through its Grosvenor Casinos and Mecca Bingo brands, has so far donated £284,500.

Earlier in the year, GambleAware announced that it would be funding an additional £3.9m for the treatment of problem gambling. Of the total £3.9m, £2.35m will go towards expanding infrastructure for in-person gambling addiction treatment in the UK and £705,000 will go to the National Gambling Helpline.

Another £435,000 would be spent on making computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy accessible to people. The remaining £438,000 will go towards developing a peer-to-peer gambling addiction treatment programme.

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