GGPoker has been granted an online poker license in Germany, making it the second operator in November to receive approval from the State Administration Office of Saxony-Anhalt.
GGPoker executives were notified of the decision late last week and, in a press release sent on December 1, Sven Stiel described it as a “constructive” step forward.
Germany’s online poker industry has been in a state of regulatory flux since 2011. Efforts to introduce a nationwide licensing system have been fraught with issues due to disagreements between states. A unified effort is now underway with the State Administration Office of Saxony-Anhalt issuing licenses to operators, including GGPoker.
GGPoker joins Entain in Germany’s regulated online poker market
NSUS Malta Ltd, the parent company of GGPoker, received permission to host games in Germany on November 25. The approval came at the same time Entain was given the green light to offer online poker in Germany via bwin and Ladbrokes.
Sven Stiel of NSUS Germany said the new license would not only benefit GGPoker but Germany’s online gambling industry.
“We are delighted to have gone the long and constructive path with the German authorities. We are now able to offer our high-quality, innovative and secure poker environment officially and legally backed. This is the decisive step towards modern iGaming in Germany under professional and customer-oriented conditions,” Stiel said in the December 1 press release.
Joining Entain-owned bwin and Ladbrokes as a licensed online poker operator in Germany means GGPoker will be subject to the country’s 5.3% rollover tax. The new tax rate for online gambling companies was introduced in 2021 as part of the effort to introduce nationwide regulations.
Germany finally moving toward full regulation
Online poker has never been classed as illegal in Germany, but without any official regulations, it’s been a gray market for more than a decade. Things began to change in March 2020 when draft regulations were approved by the German government.
The regulations are based on a joint treaty between Germany’s federal states. The State Administration Office of Saxony-Anhalt was tasked with implementing the new regulations and approving license applications in July 2021.
Operators that continued to offer “games of chance” after the regulations came into effect were regarded as “unreliable,” according to official documents. Additionally, the new rules made it possible for the State Administration Office of Saxony-Anhalt to take “regulatory action” against “illegal gambling” activity.
A resolution on the regulations was passed in June 2022. This initiated the licensing process through which GGPoker has just been approved. The world’s largest online poker site can now offer its services in Germany, including WSOP online events and qualifiers.