Gambling law | Fieldfisher
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Advice and representation in gambling law

We advise and represent you in gambling law. Furthermore, with the State Treaty on Gambling 2021, the German gambling market will be opened to national and international online providers. Therefore, we advise you in all stages of developing and making your offer accessible and represent you before the competent authorities.

On 1 July 2021, the new State Treaty on Gambling came into force. Online gambling, such as virtual slot machines, online casinos, and online poker will be legal in Germany. The German market will be opened up. Providers need a state permit to operate. Operation is subject to state supervision and complex legal restrictions. The permit procedure and operation require that the technology is adapted to the legal requirements. 

Advice for payment service providers

Payment service providers need to know that participating in payments for unauthorized gambling is also prohibited and can have serious legal consequences (such as the withdrawal of licenses or other measures by the authorities). Therefore, payment service providers must ensure that gambling providers on the internet have the appropriate official authorization. In addition, we advise payment service providers on whether supervised companies are operating prohibited gambling.

Advice on the fulfillment of legal requirements

Several legal requirements apply to the offering of gambling. These include:

  • Protection of minors: no access for children to the offer through appropriate technical measures (identification and authentication, "KYC");
  • Credit ban: No credits for players and no advertising on the site for third-party credits;
  • No rapid repetition of the game: Technically, the game must be designed so that the game rounds do not repeat quickly. The background to this is that, in the view of the federal states, this would otherwise create particular incentives for addiction;
  • Different forms of gambling may only be offered via the same internet domain if an independent and graphically separate area is set up for each form of gambling (exception: sports and horse betting);
  • Social concept: The organizers of online games of chance must develop a particular social concept to ensure the protection of minors and players. The social ideas must explain which measures are to be taken to prevent the socially harmful effects of gambling and how these are to be remedied.

We advise you on how to comply with these legal requirements.

Advice on the particular licensing requirements for sports betting, online poker, and virtual slot machine games

Sports betting, online poker, and virtual slot machine games are subject to special requirements. The complex regulations can only be outlined below. These include, for example, in the licensing procedure:

  • Disclosure of ownership and shareholding relationships with the applicant;
  • Proof of reliability and expertise
  • Disclosure of where the funds for the operation of the offer come from, including proof of their legality;
  • Declaration and, if applicable, proof that the organizer, appointed persons, and associated companies have not organized or are not organizing prohibited gambling in the past;
  • Evidence of financial and technical capacity to operate online gambling following legal requirements;
  • Transparency requirements: Transparent operation must be ensured for the supervisory authority so that state supervision is guaranteed; this also includes, for providers not domiciled in Germany, appointing a receiving and representative agent in Germany;
  • Own accounting for payment transactions from Germany, including an account in the EU and the establishment of interfaces for the examination of all gaming transactions in real-time by the supervisory authority;
  • Proof of security in the form of an unlimited, directly enforceable bank guarantee of at least 5 million euros or higher if requested by the licensing authority.

We advise you on how to comply with these requirements.

Compliance with the technical and legal requirements

Online gambling operators must fulfill various technical requirements for their gambling, for example, the connection to the national limit file. We help you to meet these requirements. This also includes legal advisory fields such as data protection, IT, or IP law with our internationally renowned experts.

Advice and representation in administrative court proceedings

Disputes with authorities can also arise in gambling law. We advise and represent you in such disputes.

  • Representation in legal proceedings, including drafting of complaints or statements of defense
  • Representation in summary proceedings and appeal proceedings before administrative courts
  • Representation in appeal and review proceedings
  • Preparation of constitutional complaints and applications for review of norms
  • Attendance at court hearings

Expert opinions

Our advice is not limited to the above-mentioned main topics. Gambling law is a rapidly changing area of law. We help you to find clarity in complex, confusing matter.

Our lawyers have been advising on administrative and licensing law for years. Our partner Dennis Hillemann is a specialist lawyer for administrative law and has experience in complex administrative proceedings. Our lawyer Christine Charlotte Fischer advises national and international clients in administrative proceedings and before the administrative courts.