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Germany Legalized Online Poker

The largest country in the European Union had been cut off for a very long time from the online gambling legalization process that has been taking place in Europe in recent years. France, Spain, and Italy have led the initiatives, with other smaller countries, but there was no progress in Germany. That is why the sudden decision to legalize online gambling in the country is a big surprise.

Germany Legalized Online Poker

Online Poker Will Become Legal in Germany

Online gaming in Germany has always been in a "gray" area. Formally, since 2008, the Interstate Treaty on Gambling (ITG) is ruling. According to this act, online games within the country were banned, but the prohibition didn't apply to playing through offshore poker sites.

In 2012, the ITG was updated and allowed each of the 16 Federal States to solve the issue of legalizing online gambling. But, only one (Schleswig-Holstein) moved forward and even started issuing licenses, but the permit was revoked last year, and the licenses were valid until 2018.

Then it became clear that a comprehensive solution needed a consensus. And this month, when all European countries were only concerned about the fight against the Coronavirus, the ITG was modified and ratified at a meeting of all the heads of Germany States in Berlin:

Starting in July 2021, online gambling, including, of course, online poker, will become legal throughout Germany.

In 15 months, the Germany gambling authorities must regulate the licensing process, define rules for international companies, taxation, etc. It's already known that the detailed regulation will include:

  • Minimum and maximum bets;
  • A limit to the amount of money a player can have in a poker room;
  • Multi-tabling will be prohibited by default, although some operators may not be subject to this rule and may apply a table cap of four.

Most likely, Germany won't be a fenced-in market, and global operators may require partnering with local companies to get a license, similar to Sweden.

What does the legalization of online poker in Germany mean for the global industry?

The legalization of online poker in Germany will definitely boost the popularity of the game within the country, so probably next year, the tables will experience a traffic increase, mainly from amateurs who will be delighted with all the new options available.

There is no doubt that by the end of this year, gambling giants such as GVC Holdings (partypoker), PokerStars, 888Poker will announce the departure from Germany as offshore sites, and apply for a license to operate in the country.

Right now, German players are playing on other networks, like GGPoker. Our top deal there includes:

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Vargoso 29.03.20
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