GVC Makes German Proposal

A leading European betting group has proposed changes to the next round of German gambling regulations, that could have a significant impact on the German betting sector.

GVC Holdings has proposed to German state lawmakers that consumer protection standards could be introduced ahead of time, while the gambling regulations as a whole could be phased in gradually, instead of going live on one date.

The legislation that will effectively legalise online casino gaming in Germany is set to take effect on July 1 next year, assuming that it is successfully ratified by individual German federal states and given approval by the European Commission. But in the interim, states in the country have disagreed on how to deal with operators who are currently providing online betting in the unregulated sector.

According to GVC, their model would allow the new State Treaty on gambling, the Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsvertrag (GlüNeuRStV), to be brought in slowly over five stages, and would also require prospective licence applicants to achieve full compliance with the future legislation by the beginning of 2021. They argue that this would result in the effective implementation of consumer protection standards ahead of time, and allow players to gamble through fully compliant potential licence holders instead of black market operators.

To implement the plan, GVC has suggested a full internal evaluation is carried out on each prospective operator to check its ability to implement the requirements of the new regulations. Operators would then be required to work to ensure that all of their systems complied fully with the  GlüNeuRStV rules in all of the five stages. They also say that the proposal would make it possible to have regulatory requirements for sports betting and related payments to be in place within months, while customer identification requirements could be set up within ten weeks and new deposit limits required by the regulations could be up and running in three and a half months.

Speaking about the proposal, the Director of Regulatory Affairs at GVC, Martin Lycka, said that the company shared the goal of those who drew up the State Treaty to maximise the amount of betting conducted through regulated providers.

“To achieve this, gaming regulation should be transferred to the new regulatory model within the framework of what is technically possible during the transitional period until the entry into force of the new treaty.”

It has been reported that some German states are in favour of the idea of a transition phase. Among the proposals that have been floated is the suggestion that operators who intend to apply to enter the regulated market in July to be exempt from prosecution during the interim period, if they commit to enforcing the future regulations. Meanwhile, there was a setback at the European Union last week as the European Commission extended the ‘standstill period’ for considering the legislation until September 18, following criticism from Malta and others.

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