The controversial ‘GlüNeuRStv’ (Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsvertrag) which is the new German state treaty on gambling was approved by the Finance Committee this week.
The bill was put together by the Bundesrat which is the Federal Council in Germany and it received a lot of opposition from online casino stakeholders as they felt the bill was unfair to the iGaming market.
State legislators were confident that even though there was opposition to the bill from online casino stakeholders, they would get the necessary floor vote to pass the bill and that’s exactly what happened.
During a floor vote earlier this week, the Christian Social Union (CSU), Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Green Party and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) said they were in favour of GlüNeuRStv while Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) voted against it. The one party that abstained from voting on the bill was Die Linke.
The main point of contention in this new bill is that it looks to impose a 5.3 percent betting tax on online casino and online poker games. The Finance Committee pointed out that this 5.3 percent tax will not only be applicable to licensed gaming operators but also unlicensed gaming operators.
The GlüNeuRStv received a lot of support back in March 2020 when it was approved by all 16 states. These new regulations come into play from July 1, 2021 but licensed iGaming operators were instructed much earlier to prepare themselves to be ready to fully comply with the draft GlüNeuRStv regulations as legislators were confident that the new bill would get approval and be rolled out.
Top iGaming operators in Germany like LeoVegas claim that the new regulations which they have been trying to comply with is significantly hurting their bottom line. One of the new regulations will limit each spin on an online slot game to €1.
This is a big blow to online casino operators in Germany as they tend to make over 50 percent of their gross gaming revenues via online slot games. By putting a cap on the spending limit for each spin, online casino operators would lose a lot of money.
EGBA Continues To Fight GlüNeuRStv
The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) have continued to oppose GlüNeuRStv along with Der Deutsche Sportwettenverband (DVSW). They filed separate complaints with the European Union saying that the new laws are biased against the online casino market and would encourage illegal gambling in Germany.