GVC secures four German sports betting licenses

GVC Holdings has secured German sports betting licenses for four of its brands.

This morning, the sports betting and online gambling operator GVC Holdings announced it has been awarded four sports betting licences in Germany which adhere to market conditions set by the Länder approved “transitional framework.”

GVC’s licences

In an update to its investors, GVC revealed that transitional licences were awarded for its Ladbrokes, bwin, SportingBet and Gamebookers brands.

The operator did provide an outline of its licensing terms which includes setting a wagering limit of €1,000 euros per month that can be increased to €10,000 subject to certain criteria being met as well as certain loss limits. This wagering limit may then be increased to €30,000 for 1% of customers subject to enhanced due diligence and certain loss limits.

Deposit limits must be in place until a customer completes the verification process and the annual bonus per customer must be capped at €100. The terms also include certain responsibility requirements that licence holders must adhere to.

GVC said that these measures are likely to reduce group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) by up to €40m a year once they are applied in full

GVC noted that its licenses had been granted with immediate effect, however, the operator has yet to secure defined terms for each of its brands to operate in the country. In the announcement, the operator said: “GVC is working with the regulator on an implementation plan with terms expected to be in place in the early part of 2021.”

Shay Segev, CEO of GVC said: “The award of these licences is great news for GVC, bringing the clarity and certainty that we have long sought for sports-betting in Germany.  Combined with the recent Tolerance Policy we can now look confidently to the future, building on our position as a market leader by delivering an unparalleled, innovative experience for our German customers.  

“The much-anticipated regulation of online gaming in Germany re-enforces GVC’s position as the most globally regulated and responsible operator in our industry.”

The “transitional framework”

At the start of October, Germany’s 16 federal Länder (states) agreed to launch a “tolerance period” which allows approved operators to pilot their online gambling services under a “transitional framework” that matches the laws set by Germany’s New Federal Interstate Treaty on Online Gambling.

This decision was made to ensure that Länder councils would be able to implement player protection and consumer safeguards ahead of the country’s new federal online gambling laws in July 2021.

Germany’s transitional framework will officially launch on 15 October with all approved operators being required to adhere to strict terms on player deposit limits, casino table game restrictions, safer gambling requirements and slot game requirements.

Other operators granted licenses

GVC is not the only operator to receive German betting licenses as both Gauselmann Group and Tipwin announced today that they had also received betting licenses.

Gauselmann Group announced that its Cashpoint Malta subsidiary had been awarded a German sports betting license.

Managing director of Merkur Sportwetten Markus Ettlin said: “We are very pleased to be among the first to be able to offer our betting program to our sports-loving customers with a state license. After many years of legal limbo, binding rules now apply to everyone in the German sports betting market.

“Above all, this strengthens consumer and player protection,” Ettlin added. “Because now not only customers who are enthusiastic about gaming, but also politicians, authorities and society can differentiate between illegal and permitted providers.”

Gauselmann founder Paul Gauselmann welcomed the news and said that the business met all the requirements for licencing as far back as 2014.

Tipwin also said it had met all the license conditions in 2014, however, the company’s managing director Ivica Batinic and head of legal Damir Böhm said they were relieved that the legal uncertainty was now over.

In a joint statement, Batinic and Böhm said: “The granting of the licence promises a great opportunity for everyone involved, whether that’s people, politicians, authorities, providers and consumers.”

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