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Slotmagie and Merkur become fourth and fifth German slot licensees

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Two more operators have been approved to launch online slots in Germany, as SlotMagie and Merkur will become the country’s fourth and fifth online slots licensees.
DSWV Oddset Sportwetten

The Mill Adventure will receive a licence to offer slots on its Slotmagie website, while Merkur is licensed for three sites: Xtip, Merkur Sports and Merkur Spiel.

Markus Ettlin, management spokesperson for Merkur, said the business had been ready to launch online slots under the Merkur Spiel brand for some time, and had been awaiting final regulatory approval.

“We have been waiting in the wings for some time with our range of virtual slot-machine games under the ‘Merkur Spiel’ brand,” he said. “So we are all the more enthusiastic that we can now offer our online players the chance to enjoy the same Merkur classics that have been played millions of times at our bricks-and-mortar venues,

“This approval is an important and big step for us towards becoming the best omnichannel provider in the whole of Europe.”

The businesses become the fourth and fifth online slots licensees under Germany’s new online gambling regime, which came into force on 1 July, 2021

The new system includes a number of strict conditions, including a €1 stake limit for slots. In addition, operators must pay 5.3% of their turnover in tax.

As a result of these conditions, no online slots or poker licensees were listed for almost a year after the treaty came into force. Operators and industry body Deutsche Sportwettenverband (DSWV) argued the rules in place made it too difficult to operate.

The first operator licensed was Mernov, which was created as a joint venture between Merkur and Novotmatic. However, this business changed its name to Deutsche Gesellschaft für Glücksspiel (DGGS) earlier this month, as it implemented a “new shareholder structure”.

Following Mernov, two other operators received licences in June: Tipwin and Mybet operator Ruleo. After they gained approval, the state of Sachsen-Anhalt – which handles licensing – revealed that nine other operators were likely to receive licences for slots or online poker soon. Currently, there are no licensed online poker businesses.

The two new licences are the first since the Glücksspielbehörde took over enforcement of penalties against unlicensed online operators on 1 July. As part of this mission, it implemented its first IP blocking order, against lottery betting operator Lottoland, last month.

The body will then take over all regulatory issues on 1 January, 2023.

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