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Entering The Online Gambling Industry in Germany: How to Start An Online Betting Business

As of July 2021, the new Interstate Treaty on Gambling provisions that there is no limit to the licenses provided for new online betting sites in Germany, signaling a new era in the world of sports betting for punters and bookmakers.

Gambling is growing at very fast rates worldwide, with the European market being one of the leading industries where gross gambling revenues are exhibiting double-digit growth rates. In fact, Germany, the third largest market in Europe, reported nearly 12bn euros in gambling revenues, a figure which is anticipated to rise sharply in the next few years, following the amended Interstate Treaty of Gambling that came into place in 2021.

In such an attractive industry, it is only natural to have many entrepreneurs interested in entering the business. So, if you want to learn more about how to start an online betting business in Germany, then you should read through the next paragraphs to get an idea of the main things to consider.

The new ‘regime’ in the German gambling industry

The amendment of the ISTG 2021 was a step closer to liberalizing the gambling industry while providing a regulatory framework for preventing fraudulent and illegal operations of businesses and also for directing gamblers toward licensed sportsbooks and online casinos. More precisely, the new Interstate Treaty has been an effort to reconcile the different and often controversial approaches of the various states and compromise a somewhat ‘middle’ solution between strictly regulating the market and maintaining a free, liberalized market.

In light of the new ISTG, all those who want to know how to set up a betting company in the online gambling industry need to consider some critical issues. These are the changes involved both in obtaining a license to operate in the Garman betting market and in actually operating a betting business.

Note that the license can be granted only to EU and EEA citizens and, once obtained, is valid for five years (upon issuance), whereas if it is renewed, it becomes valid for seven years.

So, besides the paperwork and the pile of documents you will be required to submit to obtain a license, the following issues are very important to consider when creating a new online betting site.

Online poker and online virtual slots will be licensable for the first time.

Up to now, only online sports betting has been considered legal and licensed in Germany. From now on, and for the first time, the regulatory commission will issue licenses for online poker and online virtual slots, which means that these gambling products will be offered legally online for the first time. But, if you operate a sports betting site, you need to have a separate section for online poker or virtual slots, as it is not allowed to have them mixed up in one domain.

New restrictions on online sports betting.

While the issuing of licenses does not change much under the amendment, there are new restrictions for those who want to start an online betting business. There are provisions for limits in betting, including the types of bets, in-play betting options, product offerings, advertising, and affiliate marketing. There is a strict policy that you must watch out for and carefully comply with.

Deposit and Betting limits are applied.

A central authority strictly monitors a state-wide €1,000 monthly deposit for punters in Germany. So, sportsbooks can accept deposits only up to a certain amount. Given that it is a cross-platform limit, the deposit max may be far less than the maximum of the allowed amount.

New policies for developing and maintaining a robust monitoring system

To obtain a license to operate an online betting site, you need to ensure that the site incorporates a robust, elaborate monitoring system that can spot any patterns that reflect a problem gambling behavior on the part of the bettors early enough to channel them out of gambling. Further, all betting sites need to have a visible ‘opt-out’ button to enable an easy exclusion of players from gambling for an established minimum time.

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