There can be ‘no more transition’ as German gambling stakeholders are now ordered to accept the terms of the Fourth Interstate Treaty on Gambling (GlüNeuRStv) that came into federal existence on 1 July 2021.
A German stakeholders panel at CasinoBeats Summit Malta dissected the bleak prospects of a maligned and unmerited ‘GlüNeuRStv Regime’ – which despite widespread protest remains unchanged in its stringent framework.
Burdens are most pronounced for online casino incumbents that have had to enforce a raft of player protections and product modifications to comply with the new regime imposing – €1 limit per spin on casino games, €1,000 per month deposit limit, 5-second rule on slot games, a panic button and a ban on autospins.
“We could never have imagined this… We had a very nice car, and now the government is forcing us to drive the old one,” said Matej Novota, Data & Complaints Department Lead for online player community Casino Guru.
Reporting on the feedback of Casino Guru players, Novata expressed his confusion with regards to casino bonus terms as operators continue to make GlüNeuRStv adjustments.
He explained: “Operators have adjusted their casino games to €1 max bet offering. The issue is for players that win money on bonuses, how much time will they need to spend wagering their bonus to earn their money – it’s a bad situation as nobody can explain that!”
GlüNeuRStv frustrations were noted across all disciplines, as established German incumbents have been forced to re-think their models and practices.
“Everyone is trying to find out where they fit in,” explained Sebastian Erfurth, COO of affiliate website Casino.Online.
“For affiliates at the moment it’s very confusing, as Section-6 of the Treaty states that affiliates are not allowed to have revenue share deals generated through links.”
Erfurth warned of dire market consequences for incumbents and regulators, should the GlüNeuRStv remain unmodified.
“I don’t see many affiliates surviving the Treaty, and it should be a concern to the market,” he added. “Without a revenue share option, the German market will lose its neutral affiliates that inform the players on the best options – this is a situation no one asked for.”
Forced to impose the GlüNeuRStv stringent player protections, the panel were questioned on the growth prospects of Germany’s market, which following 12-years of deliberation had secured its regulatory certainty.
“We recognise that the treaty is unpopular, but it has made every fish the same size in Germany,” said Nico Reussenzehn, Country Manager Germany for Rootz, who provided a blunt operator’s view.
“Though the terms are difficult, we have to recognise that there is an opportunity as online gambling is no longer a taboo market for German consumers.”
Moving beyond GlüNeuRStv restrictions, Reussenzehn stated that the market’s likely winners will be “a limited number of casino operators” that can adjust their operating models to accommodate “the largest pool of monthly players”.