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Germany’s State of North Rhine-Westphalia Gives the Green Light to Online Gambling

Germany remains on track to expand its online gambling market. A month ago, a new draft law regarding digital gambling was issued by the Government of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the largest state of the country. According to media reports, the new piece of legislation is now coming into force, so online casinos in the state are given much more freedom.

After the proposed bill received the necessary approval of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Free Democratic Party of Germany on February 17th, the state’s Government is now given the chance to distribute a maximum of 5 concessions to different online gambling providers in North Rhine-Westphalia. Two other political parties – the Greens and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) – were against the proposed piece of legislation, while a fifth party – Alternative for Germany (AfD), did not vote either in support or against the bill.

According to the opponents of the online gambling expansion bill, the new law does not sufficiently take into account the necessary protection of underage individuals. They also believe that the bill runs against the prevention of problem gambling. Herbert Reu, the Interior Minister of NRW and a member of the CDU party said he did not agree with these claims.

The aforementioned piece of legislation has also received the approval of the EU Commission. It contains several measures aimed at ensuring the protection of the most vulnerable members of society and the prevention of excessive gambling and gambling participation of underage individuals.

Online Casino Concessions to Be Given in a Transparent Manner

The online gambling legislation includes blackjack, roulette and baccarat, with online poker and one-armed bandits being an exception. Now, the online casino licenses are set to be awarded in a transparent matter for a 10-year period. Online gambling services will only be available to people who reside in the NRW state.

Under the provisions of the bill, a player must set a maximum monthly deposit limit for themselves at the time when they first sign up on an online gambling platform. Players are also allowed to increase their self-chosen limits, with the changes set to take effect after 7 days. They could also reduce their self-imposed betting limits, with the change taking place immediately in these cases. The maximum limit for such deposits is currently €1,000.

In July 2021, Germany’s new State Treaty on Gambling came into effect in the country, with some relaxation of the already existing measures taking place at the time. Although the gambling measures were relaxed nationwide, federal states are still given the chance to make certain changes and enforce restrictions in order to protect their residents from possible negative effects of gambling.

The State Treaty on Gambling aims at bringing some groundbreaking changes to gambling advertising and affiliate marketing in the sector. Sports betting is allowed to be advertised not only during an ongoing sports competition, while advertising for online casinos, poker and slot machines is not allowed to be displayed in the period from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM.

There have been some arguments that managing existing demand for gambling and prevention of illegal gambling services are a matter of sufficiency in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, with authorities being aimed at tackling manipulation and ensuring maximum protection for players. The Social Democratic Party and the Greens, however, have been urging the government to ban online gambling advertising, as well as bonuses and special online discounts in order to make sure local users are well protected against gambling harm.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.