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Germany licenses eighth slots operator

| By Zak Thomas-Akoo
Jokerstar has become the eighth business to be added to the German whitelist for online slots, giving the business the green light to operate nationwide.
GGL Red Rhino

Jokerstar, trading through its jokerstar.de online portal, will join the seven businesses and ten brands that have already been approved to operate. Jokerstar was founded in 2021, and is owned by Kling Automaten, an operator of land-based slot machine halls in Germany.

The previous companies that have been licensed have typically been large established businesses that were able to work within a system of high taxes and strict regulations.

Of the ten brands – six are connected to gaming operator the Gauselmann Group, with Tipwin and MyBet, as well as Novomatic also approved.

There has been a national online slots market in Germany since the country’s State Treaty on Gambling (GlüNeuRStv) created provisions for the nationwide operation of slots and poker businesses in 2021. However, in practice, Germany’s relatively penalising regulatory regime has stymied the entrance of all but the most determined operators.

Rules including a 5.3% stake tax, cross-operator deposit limits of €1,000 per month and €1 stake limits have constrained the size of the market. Online poker has been even more adversely affected, with not a single business having been licensed to operate the vertical since the launch of the regulated market over a year ago.

The treaty also created provisions for a new national regulatory agency the Glücksspielbehörde (GGL). While the GGL commenced work on 1 July 2022, one year after the passage of the treaty, it is currently focused on combating illegal gambling rather than regulating the sector as a whole.

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