Germany’s online gaming market continues to expand, even if it only covers virtual slots. Tipico has received a license to increase its footprint in the state, but Lottoland has become persona non grata.
Gambling reforms led to the introduction of the Fourth Interstate Treaty on Gambling in the country. However, the rollout of options has been painstakingly slow. Finally, after more than a year, there are now more than 10 options available.
As the online segment continues to take shape, there is still a lot of movement to come. Some will be positive, although other changes are going to lead to legal challenges.
Tipico On The Ground And In The Clouds
Tipico already had a land-based footprint in Germany, offering retail sportsbooks across the country. It then added online sports betting platforms as Germany progressed.
Per the updated whitelist of the State Administration Office (SAO) of Saxony-Anhalt, as of October 7, Tipico is now able to offer online slots. The SAO is still responsible until the end of the year. After that, responsibility goes to the new Joint Gaming Authority of the Länder (GGL).
The gaming operator will offer two platforms in the country – games.tipico.de and goldrummel.de. They join a list of 15 other platforms operating under 11 licenses. Of those, affiliates of Germany-based Gauselmann control six.
The operator’s expansion comes at a good time, as a German court recently ruled that Tipico must refund a former user €51,000 (US$49,546). The Regional Court of Frankfurt issued the ruling in September.
Online gambling didn’t arrive in Germany until June of last year. Even then, it had limited capabilities. Since the user gambled on Tipico prior to legalization, the judge ruled that the platform operated illegally and, thus, could not keep the player’s losses.
The same thing happened to a Bet365 customer in Potsdam. As a result, there could be more lawsuits from former online gamblers looking to recover their funds.
Lottoland Loses Lottery Luck
Lottoland isn’t finding any friends in Germany. The lottery platform, which allows users to bet on the outcome of state-sanctioned and international lotteries, isn’t welcome in the country.
The GGL, even though it has not officially taken over, announced this past summer that any gaming operator in the country without a license would need to leave. It specifically called out Lottoland, stating that the Fourth State Treaty on Gambling prohibits betting on lotteries.
Lottoland didn’t like the response and has continued to operate. However, the GGL is now ordering ISPs to block access to the company’s website. If they don’t, they could face fines, just like Lottoland.
For its part, Lottoland is reportedly willing to accept the challenge. It argues that the GGL, since it has not yet taken over, doesn’t have the authority to make demands. In addition, it asserts that the incoming regulator’s actions violate European laws.
The lottery platform is no stranger to controversy. It has fought the UK and Australia over its product offerings. Ireland is also currently exploring how to ban second-level lottery gambling as it sends its gambling laws through reforms.