Today we present a guest article
Playing in Germany and Sweden at online casinos or sports betting providers is legal if you choose a gambling provider with a valid gambling licence in each country.
However, based on practical experience, this does not mean that you will have an adequate gaming experience with a high level of consumer protection, such as at an online casino licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority MGA. For example, if you play at online casinos that do not require a mobile phone number and has a valid gambling licence does not indicate the quality of the gambling offer. Therefore, further information on gambling regulation in Germany and Sweden follows.
The gambling situation in Sweden
The regulation of gambling has also been an issue in Sweden for several years. The government agency Branschföringen för Onlinespel (BOS) has already made public statements about this and warned on several occasions. There is a lack of sufficient player protection while the regulatory requirements that must be followed do not go far enough overall. Moreover, according to feedback from players with different levels of experience and experts, they significantly limit the real money gaming experience.
The call to simplify and improve legal gambling in Sweden is therefore understandable and growing stronger. Despite the regulatory adjustments already made in 2021 and 2022, dissatisfaction and the number of participants in illegal online gambling is increasing.
How is gambling in Germany developing with GGL?
Since 1 January 2023, the Joint Gaming Authority of the States (GGL) has officially started its service as a public law institution. The localisation question was finally clarified and can be answered with Hansering 15 in 06108 Halle (Saale). As a regulatory authority, it specifies what a provider of new online casinos in Germany must comply with in order to obtain a GGL gaming licence for two years and be able to offer legal gambling in Germany.
The rules, which have been active since summer 2021, were accepted with mixed feelings by both players and providers. They are the beginning of a long journey towards fun, safe online gambling.
What rules exist in Germany and what will change?
GGL is primarily responsible for certifying and verifying authorised gambling in Germany. The most important rules are listed below and the changes that are already foreseeable are indicated:
- Monthly deposits at all online casinos must not exceed €1,000.
- Maximum bet per slot/spin is €1.
- It is not possible to play multiple games at the same time or at multiple online casinos.
- Access to responsible gambling (own, temporary or permanent self-ban/restriction of deposits etc.).
- Separate websites depending on the gambling focus: casino/sports betting
- No provision of a live casino
Negotiations are currently taking place on whether live casinos will be allowed to be part of online casinos with a German gambling licence from LMG in the near future. Comparison sites like Slotozilla include tests and comparisons of the best online casinos in Germany as well as information on the best casino bonus offers.
Even tighter controls in Germany and Sweden
In addition to issuing gambling licences, the respective regulatory authority has a monitoring and control mandate. Compliance with the guidelines for issued online casino licences is regularly checked and active providers and their game offerings are evaluated for legality. Anyone who does not have a legal licence and is whitelisted can be removed from the market and punished by IP blocking.
Another proven measure is that cooperation partners such as payment providers are no longer allowed to work with these casinos, sports betting or poker providers. The number of employees at BOS and GGL is also increasing due to the significantly stronger control mechanisms in the future to prevent illegal online gambling.
Sweden takes even stronger measures
In the future, the Swedish regulator will take even stronger action against advertising measures by game providers without a Swedish licence. Bonus offers will also be further regulated and restricted. This means that only new customers will be able to enjoy the bonus offers, existing customers won't get anything on Swedish gambling sites.
Despite the strict rules imposed by regulators in Sweden and Germany, the number of suppliers and applications for a valid licence continues to grow strongly. For its part, GGL is strengthening its cooperation with prevention institutions. The results should be used to guide future adjustments to responsible gambling requirements.
Conclusion: Long way to go before players are satisfied with legal gambling offers
Despite past and future adjustments to gambling laws, the gap between player satisfaction on the one hand and the economic and social objectives of gambling authorities and governments is wide. It remains to be seen whether the gambling laws will continue to be rather sluggish and whether gambling at game providers without a strict licence will maintain the magic of high demand.
With the rigid restrictions on the offering of bonuses with bonus money or free spins, the Sweden it is definitely very difficult for oneself to keep up with the offer. As for GGL and thus Germany, it is to be hoped that there will be further concessions, such as the approval of the live casino, towards exciting online games under German licence.
Is online gambling legal in Germany and Sweden?
Yes, but game providers must have a valid gaming licence for the respective country from the Swedish gaming authority Branschföringen för Onlinespel (BOS) or the German Joint Gaming Authority of the States (GGL).
Who issues German gambling licences?
Since 1 January 2023, this task, along with reviewing licences and punishing illegal gambling, has been carried out by the Joint Authority of the States (GGL), based in Halle (Saale).
Why is gambling regulation important?
The main concerns behind regulation are to protect consumers, especially gamblers, from problems such as gambling addiction, and to ensure that winnings are paid out and deposits are treated fairly.