Germany Moves Closer to Legal Online Poker

Germany currently features an unregulated internet poker market. However, they’re moving closer to legal online poker these days.

The Regional Department of Darmstadt, which is normally in charge of enforcing betting laws, is preparing for internet poker regulation. It’s currently in the process of creating transitional regulations that would remove certain prohibitions and make for a legal market.

Why Is Germany Suddenly Interested in Online Poker?

An online gaming site challenged Germany on its internet gambling restrictions. This challenge motivated the national government to finally legalize online casino games and poker in January 2020.

Lawmakers also changed the third amendment in the German State Treaty on Gaming (GlüStV) to allow operators to apply for licensing.

Before the update, Germany largely treated online gaming as illegal. The Interstate Treaty on Gambling (ISTG) of 2008 legalized sports betting but banned everything else.

The ISTG applied to 15 out of the country’s 16 states. Schleswig-Holstein was the only one to opt out, doing so in 2012. However, the other 15 states came on board when they agreed to GlüStV in early 2020.

What to Expect from Germany’s Online Poker Market

Online poker and casino games are set to go live in 2021. Therefore, the Regional Department of Darmstadt has been asked to stop enforcing laws so strictly prior to the market launching. The department is now in the business of assisting operators in getting started without a hitch.

Internet gaming sites have longed served the lucrative German market—often illegally. Now, however, they won’t need to float laws to do so.

Instead, internet casinos and poker rooms can apply for licensing. Assuming they’re approved, they can legally offer online poker to the country.

Of course, a lot still needs to happen before the internet games are up and running. By this time next year, the country should have at least a few sites offering online gambling to German residents.