The legal dispute between the Darmstadt Regional Council and an international ‘private gaming provider’ was suspended by the Darmstadt Administrative Court at the request of both parties, revealed the CEO of the German Telecommunications and Media Association (DVTM), Renatus Zilles.
For now, casino operators in Germany can rest easy, after the truce with the country’s regulator.
The truce was sought by the Council and the unidentified operator in order to explore “a constructive and mutually acceptable solution to design a transitional regulation”, prior to the debut of the new German online regulated market, which will take effect on July 1 from 2021.
It means that the Council will not apply measures “during the rest of the proceedings against the game provider involved.”
Among the powers of the German regulator are the issuance of gaming licenses under the latest German Gaming Treaty to authorize for the first time casino and poker products and online sports betting.
The Council issued a year ago a package of regulations for potential online license applicants, aimed at shutting down online casinos targeting Germany.
Some operators complied with the Council’s measures before the launch of the regulated market. Others instead ignored the request, relying on the online casino licenses issued by the state of Schleswig-Holstein.
It is not yet clear whether these licenses would allow operators to accept clients from other German states on their platforms.
Under the latest German treaty, a number of highly controversial restrictions will be imposed. For example, the maximum bet of only € 1 for online slot games. Also very strict limits for sports betting at stake. In addition to the obligation of customers to have a separate account for each gaming vertical.
Amid controversy, an Austrian sportsbook convinced a German court about the lack of transparency in the licensing process, adding further uncertainty to the future of the regulations.
Another concern of Germany’s online casino operators is about the options available to process reduced payments. Lower Saxony’s Interior Ministry has been lobbying banks to block payments to online casino operators serving the German market.
According to Zilles of the DVTM these interruptions of payment are in violation of the new German treaty. The executive accused Lower Saxony of ignoring the new Treaty, as well as other statutes such as the General Data Protection Regulation, the Telecommunications Law and the law of the European Union.
Zilles said Lower Saxony must stop putting pressure on financial institutions or it will have to face the dire consequences and assume its “full responsibility for economic and social damage.”
He noted that German gamblers will then be forced to look for other Curaçao-licensed online casino options and will sideline local operators.
Zilles last week accused other states, including Hamburg, Bremen, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, for their lack of interest in “constructively preparing for the implementation of the new state treaty at the games.”