Entain has had five licenses approved in Germany for casino gaming and poker. The company, which owns multiple gambling brands in Germany including Bwin, Ladbrokes and Sportingbet, became the first operator to get approved for online poker.
Germany re-regulated its gambling market in 2021, with the State Administrative Office of Saxony-Anhalt now responsible for licensing operators. Meanwhile, the Gemeinsame Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL) has taken over regulation responsibilities.
It marks another progressive step in Germany’s battle to phase out the use of the unregulated black online gambling market.
Entain was approved for all five gaming licenses that it applied for, and is now the first operator to be able to offer online poker to players in Germany. Each of these five licenses lasts for a period of five years.
The global gambling company has already established itself as a market leader in Germany with three licensed sports betting brands – Bwin, Ladbrokes and Sportingbet. With the five new licenses, Entertain can now offer gaming under all three aforementioned brands.
It will be able to launch its first online poker platforms under Bwin and Ladbrokes, but not Sportingbet.
Robert Hoskin, Entain’s Chief Governance Officer, has claimed that the approval of these licenses is positive for Germany’s online gambling market as a whole.
As well as expressing his delight at the approval from an Entain point of view, Hoskin also added that it was “a welcome step towards achieving the goal of a fully regulated online betting and gaming market in Germany.” He then went on to say that the implementation and enforcement of such regulations are the only ways that Germany can stop online gamblers from going to the black market.
Is this as positive a move for the regulated online gambling market in Germany as Hoskin would have us believe? Only time will tell, but Germany’s re-regulation hasn’t been as smooth as some might have hoped.
Gemeinsame Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL), the new gambling regulator, has come in for criticism on a number of occasions.
Multiple operators have been added to the whitelist since July 2021. However, many in the industry haven’t been satisfied with the speed that GGL has licensed new sportsbook operators in Germany.
Additionally, many concerns were at first raised over the initial dominance of brands owned by the Gauselmann Group. However, the strengthening of Entain’s position now might go some way to rectifying the perceived bias towards the Gauselmann Group.
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