Germany could finally open doors to online casinos

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Published by Daniel Hardman on November 25, 2019 in Industry News

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Playing online casino games can be a lot of fun but also very dangerous when the right measures are not in place.  

Over the past few years gambling has reached an all-time high in popularity and regulators are doing more to control the environment.  
 

With the latest recommendations released by the Gambling Research centre Germany’s betting industry can be completely transformed.
 

Proposed change 

The Forschungsstelle Glücksspiel (Gambling Research Centre) recently released a set of recommendations which can transform the betting industry if adopted. These latest recommendations were released just in time for the December lawmaker meeting to give legislators time to consider taking action on the matter.  

The gambling body’s review was created after a survey earlier this year suggested that the German public would be in support of gambling law changes. The review highlights the problems of unregulated and illegal betting operators as well as their taxation advantages over legitimate sites. In the new changes the gambling body suggests altering taxation to remove the edge illegal betting sites hold by applying the same taxes to all.  

According to research land based casinos in Germany paid €319 million in sales and casino taxes last year while making a gross gaming revenue of €697 million. In comparison, illegal online betting sites managed to generate an estimate €1.7 billion the same year. Had the same taxes been applied to them they would have been liable for €915 million in taxes.  

Another problem that was pointed out was the different in treatment land based and online casinos received by the law. If any land based casino was caught operating illegally they would be prosecuted as it is considered a criminal offence. However, the Criminal Code does not cover online betting hence online sites operating illegally can do so freely without fearing the wrath of the law. It is the belief of the Gambling Research Centre that the laws should be updated to prosecute and treat all land based and online operators equally.  
 

Positive change for online operators 

Apart from adding some strict changes the Gambling Research Centre (GRC) also recommended a relaxation in the laws. At the current stage playing at online casinos is considered illegal in the country but it is incredibly difficult to prevent or regulate.  

The GRC has suggested that online casino gambling should be legalised which would in turn make it easier to regulate. And at the same time it would keep players from going to illegal sites where they are at financial risk.  

The GRC also pointed out that if online gambling was legal they could implement measures such as self-exclusion, spending limits and responsible gambling behaviour. These would all be highly beneficial for players who are currently opting in at illegal betting sites.  

The downside is that while the GRC does believe online gambling should be legalised it still doesn’t believe the ban on poker should be lifted. According to the gambling body Poker is a game that is especially vulnerable to fraud as it can be easily manipulated.  

If these new changes are implemented the GRC has suggested a new body tasked with monitoring the industry should be created. And that all forms of casino gambling advertisements should be banned right from the start.

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