Thüringia submits online table games legislation to European Commission

| By Marese O'Hagan
The German state of Thüringia has put forward legislation that could see a single provider handed exclusive rights to online table games.
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The bill amends several aspects of the Thüringian Casino Law 2004 to create the Thüringian Law on Casino and Online Casino (ThürSpbkOCG). This new document would set out operating conditions for online table games, which are restricted under Germany’s state treaty on gambling, the Glücksspielneuregulieringsstaatsvertrag (GlüNeuRStV).

Implemented from 1 July, the treaty facilitated the roll-out of online slots for all licensees, but limits each state to issuing as many table games licences as it has land-based casinos. For states such as Thüringia, which has no such facilities, it can grant the state lottery sole rights to the products.

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“The approval of virtual slot machine games under a permit system for private providers in [the GlüNeuRStV] makes it necessary to limit the online casino offerings and to organise them in a monopoly,” the bill explained, adding that this would create a clear distinction between the slot and table games offerings.

Per the draft bill, the table games licence holder could apply for a ten-year licence. This could be Lotto Thüringen, which the bill noted would generate additional income for the state if it is allowed to expand into the vertical.

The bill text outlines an “increased risk of manipulation” in online table games, an the organiser also acts as the banker. Therefore, a high level of provisional detail must be provided by applicants in order to attain the exclusive rights.

The bill has also been notified to the European Commission, who must approve it before it becomes law. The bill is currently in a standstill period until 24 February 2022.

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