GGL handed lotteries baton after securing inter-state gambling governance

GGL handed lotteries baton after securing inter-state gambling governance
Image: Shutterstock

Gemeinsamen Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL) – the new federal agency for German gambling – will assume full control of the regulatory duties of Germany’s Fourth Interstate Gambling Treaty (GlüNeuRStv) from January 1, 2023.

On Tuesday, December 13, representatives of the nation’s 16 federal states met for the final time to dissolve the ‘Gambling Collegium’, a state-sanctioned body which served as the GlüNeuRStv regime’s ‘temporary placeholder’ while GGL finalised its formation.

Ronald Benter, GGL board member, commented: “With this step, an important milestone of the State Treaty on Gaming 2021 has been reached. The bundling of competencies in the GGL raises the regulation of the online gambling market to a new level.”

Consequently, GGL will take responsibility for the transitional federal states of Saxony-Anhalt (online poker/virtual slot machines), Hesse (sports and horse betting), Rhineland-Palatinate (so-called social lotteries), Hamburg (class lotteries) and Lower Saxony (commercial game brokerage).

The Board of Directors noted: “We are particularly looking forward to taking on around 20 very-well trained employees at the beginning of the year from the Saxony-Anhalt State Administration Office, which has been temporarily responsible for the licensing and supervisory procedures for virtual slot machines and online poker.”

The GlüNeuRStv regime was forced into existence on July 1 2021, as federal states agreed on a regulatory framework to amend Germany’s interstate laws on gambling, in order to regulate online gambling services – a decision which followed 12 years of Bundesrat negotiations.  

As it stands, the GlüNeuRStv regime comprises 35 sportsbook licences, with a further 15 operators taking on ‘Automatenspiele’ (casino/slot) licences, despite objections on taxation and wagering limits applied to online casino games.

Jörg Sibbel, State Secretary in the Schleswig-Holstein Ministry of the Interior, Municipal Affairs, Housing and Sport and current Chairman of the GGL Board of Directors, said: “We are pleased that the establishment of the GGL has been successful and that the authority is on schedule will be able to carry out its duties on January 1, 2023. The GGL can continue to be sure of the support of the federal states afterwards.”

GGL further announced that, at the beginning of 2023, further experts will be hired, with the organisation to be based in Halle.

Klaus Zimmermann, State Secretary in the Ministry of the Interior and Sport of the State of Saxony-Anhalt, added: “The final phase of setting up the joint gaming authority of the federal states has now been completed. We have created the conditions in Saxony-Anhalt to enable GGL to get off to a successful start.

“With a clear conscience, I hand over the tasks for issuing permits in the areas of online poker and virtual slot machines, which were previously performed by us or the state administration office, to the GGL.

“Thanks to highly motivated employees, it was possible to regulate this market in a short time and under great pressure. The GGL can build on a solid foundation here. I would like to thank the other federal states for the trust they have placed in Saxony-Anhalt.”