The German gambling industry has undergone some major changes at the start of 2023, with the new regulator Gemeinsamen Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL) taking over. The launch of the GGL has been in planning for over 18 months, and the regulator has started by approving nearly 50 more licenses for slot games and poker this week.
The GGL has taken over all regulatory acts in the German gambling industry. This was previously done by the individual federal states within the country. One such activity is handing out licences to providers and operators as well as combating illegal activities in the sector.
Despite the number of games approved for a license, only 50 providers have been added to the country's white list. This will change once security deposits have been settled.
One of the aims of the new regulator is to uphold the high standards that have been seen across the country in recent years. It has now approved almost 600 of the 3,500 game permit applications it has received. However, some of the products that have been submitted do not meet the standards required and will be rejected.
Ronald Benter, the regulator’s CEO, has said that in some cases, the standards not being met are simple, giving a lack of German instructions as an example. They reiterated that it holds its providers to high standards and expects them to be met.
One of the GGL’s prime focuses is to cut down on illegal gambling activity in the country. In a statement released by Benter, they said that the regulator is not afraid to revoke licenses if necessary. They said that they want to create a level playing field for all operators. Part of this is ensuring that offering illegal gambling activity is not going to be profitable for businesses.
CGL board member Benjamin Schwanke also spoke about this issue. They said that the regulator will collaborate with law enforcement in order to clamp down on these activities. They promised consistency in this area, insisting that the regulator would regularly pick up on regulators that are not on the country’s white list.
The CGL has been consistent with this promise so far. Since taking over, it has seen nearly 150 cases of illegal gambling and advertising filed. It also plans to set up a public prosecutor's office in Halle to deal with these issues.
Clamping down on illegal gambling is not the only focus for the regulator at the start of the year. It also aims to encourage greater transparency for players from operators. It also intends to improve protection for at-risk gamblers and provide clear messaging for those who need help with gambling.