Casinos for youGermany's online slot fans count down the days as the first licensed slot operator launches one year after the country launched its regulated online gambling regime.
Germany named Mernov Betriebsgesellschaft MBH as the recipient of its first nationwide online slot licence. The local company may now legally offer slot games to German gamblers throughout the country. Following the enactment of the Fourth State Treaty on Gambling in 2021, Mernov is the first to receive the green light.
The European country launched the national regulation of Online Slots and poker close to a year ago. Many industry stakeholders criticised policies linked to tax rates, monthly spend caps, and stake limits. Said to launch on 1 June, Mernov Betriebsgesellschaft MBH presents players in the country with slots on their Jackpot Piraten and Bing Bong platforms.
As the first to appear on Saxony-Anhalt’s whitelist of approved operators, Mernov benefits from a monopoly in the region.
Mernov Makes the Cut
Germany's interim gambling regulator, Bundesländer of Saxony-Anhalt's Ministry of the Interior and Sports, extended the country's much-anticipated first online gambling licence. Mernov made the cut and received its Virtuelle Automatenspiele licence for two online slot platforms. The announcement comes 10 months after the launch of the GlüNeuRStv regime.
Located in Espelkamp, in the state of Rhine-Westphalia, Mernov may offer online slot games from the two domains, bingbong.de and jackpotpiraten.de with €2 limits per bet. This exceptionally low stake limit deterred most from applying for licences in the German jurisdiction. Mernov’s licence excludes poker or table games.
Florian Werner, Managing Director of Mernov, commented on the news:
“We are very happy to be the first provider with a Germany-wide licence for virtual slot machines. This is a great moment for us and for the German online gambling market as a whole.”
According to the last terms, as voted by Bundesländer, the newly licensed operator faces a 5.3% tax on its annual turnover.
Since its July 2021 gambling reform, Germany opened its doors to online slots, poker rooms, and table games. Yet, 10 months later, the approved list of licensed casino operators includes one name.
The Fourth State Treaty makes provision for legal and regulated gambling options, and the rigid approach caused the opposite. With sanctions on illegal sites and only one licensed slots provider, German players find themselves in a precarious position.
Reports claim that platform operators appealed to the German regulatory bodies to loosen their reins on certain licensing criteria and make it a viable market to operate in. These terms came from existing sportsbook operators in the country who revealed they would apply for casino and slot licences if the verticals posed more favourable conditions.
The new regulations allow private companies to apply for online slots and poker licences valid throughout the states of Germany. Online table games have different rules, and each state has authority over its licence holders. Table games operators may either be state monopoly based or concessions equal to their current land-based facilities.
Any changes proposed or considered by the interim regulatory body require approval from at least 11 of the 16 members. Authorities note that inter-state conflicts cause friction and they hope to create a federal regulator by the end of 2023.
Perhaps the news of one operator who drew water from the stone and received its licence will propel the regulated German market in the right direction.
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