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New gambling rules apply in Germany as of 1 July

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New gambling rules apply in Germany as of 1 July

For lotteries, sports betting and online gambling in Germany, 1 July 2021 is an important date. On this day, the new State Treaty on Gambling will come into force, which the federal states responsible for public safety and order, have agreed on after many differences. At the same time, the new rules end a period of uncertainty regarding European regulations and licences, and the different regulations that apply in the German federal states.

In future, organisers of online gambling will need a registered office in the European Economic Area (EEA) as well as a German licence in order to be allowed to offer their services. In terms of addiction prevention and money laundering regulations, a large number of requirements must be observed. 

Identification and authentication

An example of this is that the gaming service must be available in German. Players must register with an identification procedure and authenticate themselves before playing to ensure minors are excluded. This even applies to free games if they are similar to money games.

For depositing money into the account, the following applies: transactions are only permitted from accounts held with payment institutions in the name of the players. Depositing via anonymous payment methods is prohibited. 

Using account-based payment methods

A very popular payment method in Germany is online bank transfer. Offers such as Paydirekt, Klarna/Sofort, Trustly or giropay should not be missing from the payment method mix. These methods also comply with the legal requirements of the State Treaty on Gambling.

Payment by SEPA direct debit is also frequently used. The provider collects the amount from the customer’s bank account. However, it is possible to withdraw the payment for up to eight weeks. Therefore, risk management and fraud prevention tools are essential in the payment process to minimise the risk of chargebacks. State lottery companies such as Lotto Bayern or Lotto Hessen, which Computop has been servicing for many years, use this cost-effective procedure very successfully.

Credit cards are important

Although credit cards are less widespread in Germany than in the USA or the UK, for example, more than half of the population owns a VISA, Mastercard, American Express or Diners Club card. Since online gambling is a high-risk business, the most important requirement is to find an acquirer that fits the respective gambling or betting offer. 

With around 60 acquirer connections, Computop Paygate is prepared for a flexible choice of card-accepting bank. In the course of their consultation, the Payment People will, of course, make recommendations for the selection of the right partner, so the payment, as well as the distribution of winnings by credit card, runs securely and smoothly.

eWallets: convenient for mobile gambling

With the licensing of online gambling providers in Germany, the chances of using wallets such as PayPal also increase. Often, acceptance by these providers is linked to a valid licence in the target country and is subject to a special application procedure. But with product awareness of PayPal in Germany over 95%, it is worth the effort to enable deposits and withdrawals to be carried out in this way.

Apple Pay also allows deposits and withdrawals from licensed providers. In addition to the usual credit cards, the leading debit card in Germany, girocard, can also be integrated, provided it is one of the approximately 45 million cards issued by a savings bank (Sparkasse). Potentially, from the summer of 2021, the girocard will also be an option via Apple Pay in e-commerce and therefore for digital entertainment offers. 

Anonymous payments are not permitted

Anonymous means of payment, such as prepaid vouchers, are not permitted by law. However, some providers, such as Paysafecard, have an e-money licence and maintain customer accounts with a full KYC process that removes the anonymity. This means that this payment method can still be used.

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