Germany’s New Gaming Legislation Has A Negative Impact On Online Poker
Online poker players in Germany will have to get used to playing not more than four tables simultaneously and not being able to deposit more than €1,000 per month. These new restrictions are all part of a new legislation that is expected to become law in July 2021.
Both online poker rooms and players will need to make the necessary adjustments before October 15, in preparation for the full implementation of the new regulations.
The new changes will significantly impact online poker operations in the country which has caused some operators to exit the market.
A TwoPlusTwo forum thread states that Betfair, Redbet and Ladbrokes have already exited the market.
The other prominent operators such as partypoker, PokerStars, 888poker and GGNetwork have all taken steps to ensure compliance with the new legislation. Players at partypoker will be moved to a new client, while German players will no longer be allowed to play in the segregated PokerStars Europe client.
Over at GGNetwork, players will now undergo stricter verification and will need to provide additional documents to continue to play. German players registered with Natural8 will now be migrated to the GG client, losing access to a number of promotions exclusive to Natural8.
888poker has created a new client exclusive to German players which will begin to operate on November 2. Customers have also been informed of the chances via a FAQ page.
The Unibet desktop client will be temporarily disabled for German players as the site works to comply with the latest regulations. For the meantime, players can use a web client to continue playing. Run It Once has suspended their operations in Germany but will be back before the end of the year.
Blow To Poker Players
German players are now bracing for stricter restrictions once the law is fully implemented. For now, apart from the table and deposit limits, players will be subject to a more stringent KYC verification process, and a “panic button” will be made available to impose a 24-hour self-ban.
Both amateur poker players and poker pros will definitely find it difficult to adjust to the changes. German poker pros will not be able to sustain their respective careers in a market that enforces a deposit cap. This and the fact that the taxation laws are not player-friendly will force German poker pros to move to another country or switch careers.