Saxony Anhalt’s Ministry of the Interior and Sports has named the first recipient of a licence to operate online slots under Germany’s Fourth Interstate Gambling Treaty (GlüNeuRStv) regime.
Updating its ‘white list’, the Bundesländer of Saxony-Anhalt that serves as the interim regulator of the GlüNeuRStv regime, named Mernov Betriebsgesellschaft MBH as the first operator to qualify for a ‘Virtuelle Automatenspiele’ (online slots) licence.
Located in the town of Espelkamp within the state of Rhine-Westphalia, Mernov MBH will be allowed to operate its online slots portfolio under the listed domains of www.jackpotpiraten.de and www.bingbong.de.
Ten months from the federal launch of the GlüNeuRStv regime, Saxony-Anhalt’s white list continues to see no licences issued for online casino or poker.
Despite criticism of the GlüNeuRStv, the majority of Bundesländer chose to settle on the final terms of the Fourth Gambling Interstate Treaty that applied a €2 stake cap on slots, combined with a 5.3% tax applied on casino turnover and costly technical provisions on table and slot games.
As such, several of the regime’s 35 licensed foreign and domestic sportsbook operators have notified Saxony Anhalt that they would apply for further casino and slot licences on the condition that the GlüNeuRStv be amended with favourable terms to operate online gambling verticals.
Amendments to the GlüNeuRStv have been frustrated, as incumbents require approval by two-thirds majority of members of the Glücksspielkollegium.
Comprising 16 Bundesländer members, the Glücksspielkollegium serves as a ‘coordinating body’ of the GlüNeuRStv regime, which was established as a ‘temporary committee’ to ensure that the interests of individual lander (states) are maintained by new gambling laws and licences.
Aware of conflicts across German States, the executive of Saxony Ahalt maintains that its focus is on establishing the federal gambling regulator Glücksspielbehörde by the end of 2022.
Set to take charge of the market in 2023, incumbents hope that the Glücksspielbehörde will solve GlüNeuRStv’s structural issues regarding licensing, advertising rules, interstate disputes, tax, technical accreditations and further establish more equitable rules for licensed foreign and domestic operators.