People in Germany are no strangers to gambling. As an estimated €16.3 billion industry with 12% of online players using slots every day, it’s a lucrative market. But until now, it’s been left largely unregulated.
New rules are due to come into law on 1st July 2021, introduced by the new German Interstate Treaty on Gambling (ISTG 2021). For a while, states in Germany could not agree on how casinos should run, with some feeling the market should be liberalised and others strongly advocating for an outright ban. This treaty provides the country with a middle ground by allowing casinos to continue to operate but only under more stringent conditions.
Operators wanting to apply for this new licence must abide by regulations throughout a transition period which began today.
So what new restrictions are being put in place and how do they compare to the rules currently in place in the UK?
€1 stake limit per spin
This means players in Germany can only limit up to €1 for each spin they play on slots.
The UK currently has no stake limit for spins. Normally, slots allow players to stake anything from 10p, but this changes from game to game and can even go all the way up to £100. In November last year, a stake limit of £2 was suggested by MPs but has not yet been put into law.
A minimum spin duration of 5 seconds
For players in Germany, this means each spin will take at least 5 seconds between clicking to play and displaying the result, which will slow down gameplay significantly.
For us, the minimum spin duration is currently 2.5 seconds, so British reels can spin slightly faster than Germany’s. This regulation was recently put in place as a part of new regulations introduced by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) to prevent harmful gambling.
Ban on all table and live dealer slot games
This means that card games like Blackjack and Baccarat games with a live host will no longer be available in Germany, though the rule does not apply to poker and sports betting.
Players in the UK have full access to table and live dealer games, which is a big draw for many. If a player in Germany were to want to play live, they would now need to go to an unlicensed casino. However, we would not recommend this. Be sure to always go to a trusted casino for the best player experience and reliable payouts. Go through our list of best casinos to find sites we rate highly.
€1,000 blanket deposit limit on all accounts
A small number of players in Germany can apply to increase this limit to €10,000 and fewer than 1% of players will be able to increase to €30,000. Additionally, these players with a €30,000 monthly deposit limit will not be permitted to lose more than 20% of their deposit amount.
This means that if an unlucky player has got to the point where they’ve lost 20% of their €30,000 deposit within a month, the site will automatically halt their gameplay. This new regulation will prevent players from spending beyond their means.
No such deposit limit exists in the UK currently.
Removal of all autoplay functionality
Autoplay is the function that allows slots to roll automatically without having to click to play each spin. Removing this feature will help to ensure players are conscious of how much they’re staking in a game.
Autoplay functionality is currently still allowed in UK online casinos, but its removal has been discussed. A gambling commission workgroup made up of game publishers Playtech and Scientific Games back in April called for the change, but it was not implemented in the regulations recently introduced by BCG.
Removal of ability to play multiple slots simultaneously
This means players in Germany will no longer be able to play several slots at once, or games that have multiple reels at once, at licensed casinos.
Multi-play was also recently banned in the UK as part of the changes introduced by the BGC.
Removal of all slot jackpots
Slot jackpots are large pots that can be randomly awarded to players during gameplay. Under this new law, they will be banned as well as progressive jackpots, where the pot gradually grows as players continue to stake money.
Slot jackpots are still a part of UK casinos and there are no imminent plans to remove them.
Ban on online advertising by operators between 6am – 9pm
Under this law, the German public will no longer see any online advertising of casinos during the daytime.
While there are plenty of rules and limitations surrounding advertising for online casino operators in the UK, there is currently no curfew in place.
A ban on the use of the term “casino” for online operators.
In Germany, this rule is reserved for land based casinos only during the interim period.
There is currently no ban on the use of the word “casino” for operators across the UK.